Saturday, 19 March 2011

Glorious Luna

Are you fascinated by our moon?  I am.  I think it’s amazing.  I’m not old enough to remember the moon landings but it didn’t stop me being mesmerised by them as a child.

Tonight will be the ‘largest’ Full Moon since the early 90’s.  If you are so inclined you can read about it on the Guardian Science site (and loads of others if you google it).  Basically the moon gets closer and further away from the Earth as a natural part of it’s orbit.  This means that to us it really does appear larger at some times than others.


For someone who loves Luna as much as I do, I have remarkably few photographs of it (or should that be her).  This is about the best and was taken in August 2009 at the Scone Palace Runrig concert.  Hand held as the camera was held up over peoples heads, it’s not really a surprise it isn’t very good.

So tonight I shall be joining photographers all over the world by heading out with my tripod and a flask of tea.

Many people try to photograph the moon, but few get results they are happy with.  So here’s a few tips in case you’re also feeling inspired.

  • Get your camera off automatic mode.  Modern cameras will do all sorts of things for you, including working out all the settings to take a photo.  Unfortunately the software bases all this on averages.  So when presented with a dark sky and a small bright disc, the camera will try to average it all out.  This will overexpose the moon and you’ll lots of detail.
  • If your camera allows you to shoot in RAW mode then do that.  You will record much more detail allowing you more options when you get your image onto your computer.
  • Use a tripod and cable release if you have them.  If not then prop your camera on something (beanbag, coat, wall) and use the timer feature.  This will help to prevent ‘camera shake’ by your hands/arms moving ever so slightly while you take the shot.
  • Take lots of photos.  The chances of getting THE shot on the first click are not good.  So take plenty.  Change the settings and cover all the bases.  It’s better to take more shots than you need than not enough.  It’s going to be about 20 years before you get another chance.

Above all if you do go out have fun.  I know that’s my plan….



  1. In Norse mythology, and therefore possibly other germanic groups including the early English, the moon is male.

    Your post makes me want to go out and buy a decent camera... I do miss being able to fiddle.

  2. Ahhh well now.... wait till you get a load of my new gadget! I'll blog about it later but it's great fun hehe

    Oh and why don't you treat yourself to a nice camera? It doesn't have to cost a fortune and you work hard...

  3. Have a great time getting lots of piccies of the moon - ohhh maybe you'll be inspired to make a "moon" themed quilt?? Or quilted thingy??

  4. We looked up at the moon when we got home this evening around 8.45 and the sky was clear and moon looked Very Big (according to Cara!).