But how do you take pictures of the blue moon? Read these five simple tips from renowned landscape and travel photography expert David Noton to help you capture the best possible pictures.
When is the super blue moon?
Tonight’s super blue moon will be at its best at about 12.40am.
It will be pretty spectacular to the naked eye because the blue moon – the second full moon this calendar month – is also a supermoon.
NASA says the supermoon can appear up to 30 percent bigger and 14 percent brighter than regular full moons.
Weather conditions are cloudy but there will be clear gaps so there are lots of opportunity to take photographs whether you are a professional or an amateur wanting to try your luck.
How to take pictures of the blue moon
Photographer David Noton, who has over three decades’ experience, has outlined a few simple steps to help you get the perfect moonlit picture.
Moon 2018: Follow five simple tips for flawless blue moon photos
It’s important to remember that your subject is over 384,000km away from you and even with a high shutter speed, the slightest of movements will become exaggerated.
Step one: First of all, you will need to download the right apps.
Mr Noton says the moon’s position in the sky has monthly variations as it moves through its lunar cycle.
He said: “The result is big differences in the timing of its appearance and its trajectory through the sky.
“Luckily, we no longer need to rely on weight tables to consult the behaviour of the moon, we can simply download an app on to our phone.”
Two recommended apps are the Photographer’s Ephemeris – for moonrise and moonset times, bearings and phases – and the Photopills app, for comprehensive information of the moon’s position in the sky.
Step two: Invest in a lens with optimal zoom
Shooting the moon close up is normally the preserve of astronomers with powerful telescopes but it is not an impossibility for the rest of us.
Mr Noton said: “If you’ve got a long telephoto lens on a full frame DSLR with around 600 mm of focal length, it can be done, depending on the composition.”
Step three: Used a tripod to stop blurring and movement
‘Lunar tracking’ is no easy feat, according to Mr Noton, and the temptation to get snap happy while the camera in your hand is likely to lead to movements, so use a sturdy tripod to keep your camerawork still.
The photographer added: “It’s important to remember that your subject is over 384,000km away from you and even with a high shutter speed, the slightest of movements will become exaggerated.”
Step four: Integrate the moon into your landscape
Try to incorporate the moon into a landscape picture rather than just shooting them alone. It makes for a more interesting, and less astronomical-looking picture.
Step five: Master the shutter speed for your subject
Mr Noton said: “The most evocative and genuine use of the moon in landscape portraits results from situations when the light on the moon balances with the twilight in the surrounding sky.
A supermoon rises behind St. Paul’s Cathedral’s London on January 31, 2018
“Such images have a subtle appeal, mood and believability.”
While wide-angle views can make the moon tiny in size, Mr Noton says it will still be a draw for the human eye. This is why it’s key the shutter speed is just right.
He added: “On a clear night, mastering the shutter speed of your camera is integral to capturing the moon – exposing at 1/250 sec @ f8 ISO 100 (depending on focal length) is what you’ll need to stop the motion from blurring and if you are to get the technique right, with the high quality of cameras such as the Canon EOS 5DS R, you might even be able to see the twelve cameras that were left up there by NASA in the 60’s.”