CNN

Are you ready for the full moon? Here’s how to take the best photos

Sep 13, 2019, 5:54 AM

Dennis Doucet sat outside in near-freezing temperatures to get these photos of the moon over Kobe, ...

Dennis Doucet sat outside in near-freezing temperatures to get these photos of the moon over Kobe, Japan.

(CNN) — Another full moon event is right around the corner and you don’t want to miss it.

This Friday the 13th the harvest moon will light up the sky.

Before you head outside with your camera to capture that Instagram worthy image, here are some tips and tricks from an avid space photographer.

Dennis Doucet, 61, has been taking stunning images of the moon shining over Kobe, Japan, for several years and many of his photos have even been featured on CNN. The moon, to him, symbolizes one of “humankind’s shared constants.”

“When I’m abroad, and missing friends or family, I look at the moon and hope that they will look at the moon as well, and we will have a shared experience,” Doucet, who is originally from Canada, told CNN.

The equipment

OK, let’s get down to business. First, you need the right equipment. Doucet suggests a good camera, variety of lenses and, of course, a tripod.

“I decided to use what is known as “micro four-thirds” cameras, as they are smaller, lighter and cheaper than the standard interchangeable cameras,” he said.

The reason he enjoys the smaller, lighter camera is because it’s easier to haul around, especially with all your gear. He also suggests having a number of different lenses, from extreme wide-angle to 300mm. The latter he said is “in relative resolution, equals a 600mm telephoto lens on a regular camera.”

That lens will help you get up close and personal with the moon.

Location, location, location

Now that you have your gear set, it’s time to pick out the best location to set up. Doucet usually takes the images from his backyard but on special events, like eclipses, moonrises and moonsets, he will look for an area with a more unobstructed view and less light from the city.

He suggests downloading a moon locator app on your phone.

“Many of them can superimpose this information on a real-time camera image on our phones,” he said. “We point the (cellphone) camera toward the horizon and the app will show us where the moon (or sun) will rise, its trajectory through the sky, where it will set and the times of these events.”

This will help you to find the perfect location to set up your tripod.

Pro tip: The Taj Mahal will be open on full moon nights every month except for Ramadan (Ramzan), as well as for two nights on each end of the full moon night, for a total of five evenings per month.
Before you leave the house, Doucet suggests making sure you have the right clothing for the weather (some nights get cold) and dressing comfortably.

“Also, don’t wear your favorite clothes — lying on the ground, climbing a tree, etc. can often give you an angle that can make the difference between a good shot and a GREAT one!”

The camera settings

Now on to those pesky camera settings, that “auto” setting is not your friend when taking images of the moon because the moon reflects a bunch of light from the sun.

“If a camera is set to “AUTO” setting, it will “see” all of the darkness (black) of space and try to make it exposed to halfway between black and white — therefore, increasing the exposure (by a lot!),” he said.

“This increase in exposure will, in turn, wash out ALL features on the moon, and the resulting image will only show a (totally) white circle.”

But don’t fret, Doucet shares his exact settings that you can use and he said it should “yield fantastic exposures of the moon.”

When using a lens with a focal length (or equivalent) of 600mm or longer:
ISO: 800
Aperture: 6.7 (or close)
Shutter speed: (somewhere between) 1/1250 -1/2500 second

But wait, there’s more!
Doucet says at those shutter speeds hand-held shots are doable but he highly recommends a tripod. He even suggests a remote shutter release to ensure the elimination of almost all camera shake.

Editing

Now that you have your images, Doucet suggest editing them to black and white. Here’s why:

“As the lunar soil (regolith) is a light, greyish-brown color, it is not very photogenic, and it doesn’t show much contrast between brightly lit areas and shadows,” he said. This then helps him tweak the contrast and brightness, if needed.

The plus side to this is you don’t need any fancy programs, he said. Most photo editing apps on our phone will do the trick.

Now you are ready to go moongazing and capture the perfect photo to show off to your friends.

Doucet’s last few tips of advice are to make sure your equipment is working before you leave the house and to always have extra batteries and a fresh memory card with you.

“And, the most important of all: HAVE FUN!”

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

CNN

Members of the Palestinian civil defense extinguish a fire in a building in the east of Rafah, the ...

Richard Roth and Tara John, CNN

US proposes a ‘temporary ceasefire’ in Gaza in draft UN resolution

The United States has proposed a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a temporary ceasefire in Israel’s war against Hamas

1 day ago

Exercise particularly reduced risk of death for women, according to the data....

Madeline Holcombe, CNN

Women might lower their risk for cardiovascular disease by twice the amount as men with exercise

The benefits of exercise are great for everyone – but may be even better for women, according to a new study.

1 day ago

The 2024 BAFTA Film Awards are being presented on Sunday at the Royal Festival Hall in London, Engl...

Alli Rosenbloom and Thomas Page, CNN

BAFTA Awards 2024: See who won

“Oppenheimer” was a big winner at the 2024 BAFTA Film Awards, which were presented Sunday at the Royal Festival Hall.

2 days ago

Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump carries a pair of his new signa...

Kate Sullivan, CNN

Trump launches sneaker line a day after judge’s order to pay nearly $355 million

Donald Trump launched a sneaker line, a day after he and his companies were ordered by a judge to pay nearly $355 million.

2 days ago

Trevor Brown, 45, a member of the Sterling Volunteer Fire Company, died in the explosion....

Christal Hayes, Paradise Afshar and Rebekah Riess, CNN

Virginia home explodes with fire crews inside, leaving firefighter dead and 13 injured, officials say

A house exploded in Virginia as fire crews were inside checking a gas leak, leaving one firefighter dead and at least 13 others injured.

3 days ago

A police officer stands inside Lakewood Church, Sunday, February 18, in Houston....

Ashley R. Williams, Jeanne Bonner and Raja Razek, CNN

Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church resumes Sunday service one week after shooting that left 7-year-old boy injured

Services at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston resumed Sunday morning with a large security presence.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Are you ready for the full moon? Here’s how to take the best photos