Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

March 19, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 10:52 pm
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The full moon tonight is a so-called “supermoon” – meaning the moon is at its closest point in its revolution around Earth while being full at the same time.  It is about 17,000 miles closer tonight than it is at its average distance from Earth, so I thought maybe tonight would be the night I could finally get some decent pictures with the Rebel.  My little Olympus Ultra-zoom camera used to do a decent job with the moon.  I featured this shot in my Project 365, but I hadn’t been able to figure out quite how to get a nice picture with Andre.  Brian recently shared his settings for a wonderful moon shot, so I decided to give them a try.  I got my best results so far!

The so-called "supermoon"

I took the above shot on manual focus because autofocus was arguing with me again, but despite being on a tripod and using the self-timer, it wasn’t as sharp as I’d like it to be.  I decided to go back and give autofocus another try.  I got a little better:

Tonight's "supermoon"

Still not as tack sharp as I would have liked ( I did have to crop in a bit ), but better than I’ve been able to do thus far.  I’m going to keep my eyes open this year for more full moon opportunities and try to catch it lower on the horizon so I won’t have to crop as much.  My landscape here at the house doesn’t lend to great low-in-the-sky shots, so I guess I’ll have to plan some moon field trips!


  1. I think they are over exposed. Having a slightly nerdy astronomy background, I would stop down to f/11 or f/16. I also find the moon lends itself to false coloring.

    Comment by burstmode — March 19, 2011 @ 11:11 pm | Reply

    • Thanks for the tip Burst. Although it won’t be a “supermoon,” perhaps I can give it another shot tonight.

      Comment by Karma — March 20, 2011 @ 9:48 am | Reply

  2. Jinx! We were on our way to East Longmeadow this evening so I brought my camera and tripod along and pulled into an Elementary school parking lot to take pictures once the moon rose above the mountains/hills. Other people were doing to same with point and shoots with flash. I can’t imagine those came out so great.

    Comment by Becky Sue — March 19, 2011 @ 11:31 pm | Reply

    • I just went over to your blog to see your shot. Wow, pretty amazing with that big telephoto lens of yours.

      Comment by Karma — March 20, 2011 @ 9:55 am | Reply

  3. Ummm ……you have access to a “full moon” 24/7…… 😉

    Comment by Dahubby — March 20, 2011 @ 12:15 am | Reply

    • Har, har…. I don’t think anyone wants to see a picture of that!

      Comment by Karma — March 20, 2011 @ 9:55 am | Reply

  4. Well I’m real happy my settings were of use to you. BM’s right though, that given the closer / brighter moon and possibly clearer skies etc; you may have benefited from smaller aperture. Im pleased you got your best results so far though. (and thanks for the plug).. 🙂

    Another couple of tips though are using mirror lock up for the shot, as this will reduce any camera shake even further (even on a sturdy tripod). My best tip though is to use Live View. Seriously, for night shots like this it’s an invaluable function. It effectively locks the mirror up, but gives you a far better view on manual focus, as you can zoom in x10 magnification on the screen, and then focus with more precision… OR, if you want to get really techy, you could also shoot remotely (with a simple usb lead) straight from your laptop using the EOS Utility… That allows you to see the scene live on your monitor, and control ALL of the functions, including ultra fine focus… Admittedly, it IS a bit nerdy though.. lol…

    PS. Don’t forget to stand at the bottom of the yard too, as not only does it prevent the neighbours from talking about the weirdo with the camera, but the moon is then at least another 50 yards closer… 😉

    Comment by FS Photography — March 20, 2011 @ 5:21 am | Reply

    • Thanks for the extra tips, Brian. If the skies remain clear tonight, maybe I will give it another shot – I will definitely give live view a try.
      I don’t think I can use the bottom of the yard trick though – tree would block most of my view. I took those shots from my deck last night. My elderly neighbor to the east was probably in bed and my neighbor to the west is away on a trip, so it worked out! 😉

      Comment by Karma — March 20, 2011 @ 10:02 am | Reply

  5. I was outside, taking pictures, too, but I was very disappointed, because the moon seemed MUCH bigger Friday night when we came home from grocery shopping. Of course I forgot all about going out to take pictures, after I had everything put away. And last night… well the moon didn’t seem any bigger than usual 😛

    Comment by thedailyclick — March 20, 2011 @ 6:40 am | Reply

    • I know what you mean, Michaela. By the time I got outside, it didn’t seem much bigger. I read that it actually only appeared to be about 14% bigger than usual. It was extremely bright though.

      Comment by Karma — March 20, 2011 @ 10:03 am | Reply

  6. If we could be sure of seeing these things they wouldn’t have nearly the magic they have. There’s nothing like being surprised by something lovely. You got some nice shots Karen. I think you would enjoy a moon field trip very much! Take a nice drive in the country on a full moon night. Bring excellent treats, music, a blanket. Come back with memories.

    Comment by Gerry — March 20, 2011 @ 10:46 am | Reply

    • Thank you Gerry. Your version of the moon field trip sounds much better than mine. I’ll have to plan ahead with some summer full moons!

      Comment by Karma — March 20, 2011 @ 2:45 pm | Reply

  7. Nice shots! Shooting the moon, and getting a good, clear shot can be very difficult! I discovered a way to sharpen up images, using the “high pass” filter. Have you used this technique (do you have PS or PSE)? It really does help!

    Comment by Photo By Holly — March 20, 2011 @ 11:12 am | Reply

    • Thanks Holly. I have PSE. There are quite a few filters available in PSE so I’ll have to take a look. Thanks for the tip.

      Comment by Karma — March 20, 2011 @ 2:46 pm | Reply

  8. I like your moon shot, Karma. I like that it’s not technically perfect. (OK, maybe I’m just trying to make myself feel better because my moon shots are–how shall we put it?–blurry works of art.) Maybe I will write a blog about how to NOT get the perfect shot, lol.

    Comment by Kathy — March 20, 2011 @ 11:53 am | Reply

    • Thanks Kathy. Isn’t there something about Native Americans saying that we should never try for perfection because only the gods can create perfection? Maybe you are right that we should stop trying for perfection, but I’ll still keep trying to get better! 🙂

      Comment by Karma — March 20, 2011 @ 2:48 pm | Reply

  9. Good shots, Karma. Mine came out terribly overexposed for the most part. The moon baffles me at times. Sometimes, for no reason at all, I get a good shot and an overexposed shot using the same settings for both shots. ??? Weird.

    I don’t have a clear shot either, so I decided to use the trees to frame the moon.

    Comment by Robin — March 20, 2011 @ 11:55 am | Reply

    • The moon is quite the puzzle for shooting, isn’t it? I guess it is because of its beautiful brightness in the middle of a dark sky.
      Unfortunately when the moon is lower in the sky here, it is pretty difficult to even frame it – it is generally blocked by houses and trees.

      Comment by Karma — March 20, 2011 @ 2:51 pm | Reply

  10. They turned out well and I’m happy that you shared them as I did not manage to see it.

    Comment by Tammy McLeod — March 20, 2011 @ 12:04 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Tammy. I almost missed it myself – I only ran outside when I did because I happened to read a tweet about the supermoon!

      Comment by Karma — March 20, 2011 @ 2:51 pm | Reply

  11. I’ll be posting mine tomorrow. Not the greatest but will be trying again next month (weather permitting). I also used a couple of iPhone apps in my planning. I, too, want to get it as it rises next time and find an interesting foreground object. Just like I do for sunsets.

    Comment by Scott Thomas Photography — March 20, 2011 @ 1:11 pm | Reply

    • I’ll look forward to seeing your shots, Scott. I’m just not sure where I could go around here to try to find a fabulous setting for a big, bright full moon.

      Comment by Karma — March 20, 2011 @ 2:55 pm | Reply

  12. Gorgeous shots of a beautiful moon, Karen. Even if technically “imperfect” – and the difference is lost on me – they are stunning and took my breath away! Tim looked over my shoulder and he was dazzled as well.

    Our view was of the bottom quarter of a huge orange sphere sitting on the horizon across the water, mostly obscured by clouds – it was gone completely behind the clouds before I could aim the camera. So having a fabulous setting wasn’t much help in the end!

    Comment by Barbara Rodgers — March 20, 2011 @ 3:44 pm | Reply

    • You are too kind, Barbara. Thank you very much!

      Comment by Karma — March 21, 2011 @ 7:27 pm | Reply

  13. Nice! I gave it a try but either my point-and-shoot or the point-and-shoot’s owner wasn’t up to the task. One little bit of style advice I’ll feel free to give anyway though is that having some sort of something else in the shot, like a tree or even just a branch is nice to give it a little perspective.

    Comment by Jennifer A (Bread and Putter) — March 20, 2011 @ 9:31 pm | Reply

    • I’m definitely going to look for an interesting setting the next time there’s a full moon in a clear sky.

      Comment by Karma — March 21, 2011 @ 7:32 pm | Reply

  14. […] been chasing a gorgeous moon shot for a long time.  I shivered in the cold try to do justice to “supermoon” and lamented my bad luck at missing a beautiful shot on Cape Cod.  Just a couple days ago I was […]

    Pingback by Best of, Part 4 « Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog — November 13, 2011 @ 3:47 pm | Reply

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