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When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amoré” – That’s Amoré by Harry Warren and Jack Brooks

Look up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s supermoon! While it may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, tonight’s full moon is known as a supermoon, also called perigee-syzygy in astronomical terms. Because of its slightly elliptical orbit our natural satellite will be at its closest point to earth and coinciding with a complete full moon at about 11:35 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (which makes it around 8:35 p.m. here). It should appear up to 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than an average moon.

If you want a close shot of the moon a telephoto lens is a must. The minimum length should be around a 300mm to 400mm lens. Even then it will only fill up about 20 percent of the frame. Most photo editing programs will allow you to crop in tight and enlarge the image. If you have the wherewithal to buy a big really lens, a 600mm to 800mm with an extender would be optimum. Of course, if you have a telescope with camera mount (or know someone who does) all the better.

You may think that the exposure for a full moon would require a long time-exposure due to the surrounding darkness. But the light falling on the moon is about the same as a bright sunny day here on Earth. The best bet is to set your camera on manual (automatic settings will be probably fooled by the big dark sky) and for an exposure for sunshine depending upon the ISO you’re using (for example: at ISO 200 try 1/500th of a second at around f/11 or f/8). Atmospheric conditions (clouds, smog) may cut down on the exposure, but you can just shoot and then chimp (review the monitor) the picture and adjust your settings accordingly.

Fortunately the forecast calls for breezy but clear skies. To get a good look at the supermoon all you have to do is go outside and look up, up and away.

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  • Blog Author

    Clifford Oto

    Clifford Oto, an award-winning photographer, has been with The Record since 1984. Through the changes from black and white to digital photography, he’s kept his focus on covering the events, people and life of San Joaquin county. This blog deals ... Read Full
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