Without getting too scientific on everyone, an exciting moment is going to happen this weekend – it’s the perigee! What is the perigee? It’s the point when the moon and the earth reach their closest point between each other. The moon is going to look super huge this coming weekend, and this will be a great opportunity to really get some stellar shots of the moon through even the more common focal lengths we all have in our gear bags. Even with a 70-200 lens and a 1.4 TC, you should be able to get some pretty awesome full frame shots of the moon, with some pretty good detail!
Here’s a couple tips to scheduling a good moon shoot:
1. Check the weather in your area – It goes without saying that you don’t want a lot of cloud cover, but at the same time, clear skies mean no heat is staying in the atmosphere. Since it’s still relatively early in the year, standing around at midnight could be a tad chilly. Plan ahead, dress warmly, and you’ll be able to stay out longer to get the shots you really want without being cold or uncomfortable.
#2. Location, location, location – In photography, as in real estate, location can mean everything, and a lunar shoot is no exception, even though it’s in the sky. Depending on the type of view you are looking for, you may want to find some place that gives you a completely unobstructed view of the horizon. Alternately, you may want to include something “human sized” to give a sense of comparison.
#3. Pick your gear – In astro-photography, you will most likely be shooting at the longest end of your reach, so don’t bother taking the whole kit-n-kaboodle. Maybe take a variable zoom to stuff in a cargo pocket in case you want a “behind the scenes” kind of shot if going with others, but no more than two lenses are needed. Don’t forget your tripod and extra batteries, as well as a flashlight. Other essentials I have on my checklist include my wallet and cell phone.
What stakeouts have you planned in your area? Taking any friends? What about your own suggestions and tips for lunar photography? Sound off in the comments!