Tonight’s the night to photograph the supermoon — here’s how to take your best shot

You thought Monday night’s moon put on a good show? That was just a preview for tonight.

The third in this summer’s trio of supermoons will rise at approximately 8 p.m. Tuesday, East Coast time.

>>Photos: Last Supermoon of 2014 shines bright

Now, supermoons, which only look bigger and brighter because they’re orbiting closer to Earth than what we might call non-supermoons, undoubtedly make super-cool pictures … if you know what you’re doing,

Here’s some advice from Palm Beach Post staff photographer Lannis Waters, our go-to guy for sunrises and sunsets:

  • Start early. If you’re using a smartphone, try to capture the moon when it’s still near Earth’s horizon, and find something to frame it with in the foreground (trees, buildings, people). “That will help with your exposure because there should still be some light in the sky, and add interest,” Waters says.
  • Go long. Using a DSLR? “Obviously, shoot with as long a lens as possible,” Waters says. “A tripod will help, and is necessary if you’re using a very long lens. Ditto for a cable release or self-timer to avoid adding any vibrations when you fire a frame.”
  • Look for foreground interest. You can’t go wrong composing your photo with either the Lake Worth or Juno Beach pier in the foreground. “Around here, it’s hard to find a place where you can get far enough back to make a skyline work, but there are places where you could get the moon rising through a stand of trees or over buildings, but you need to search for those in advance,” Waters says. (Jupiter Lighthouse, we’re looking at you.)
  • Tap into an app. Waters likes the SkyView app, “which gives you an Augmented Reality view of the sky, and lets you type in the time and date you want so you can see where the moon will be at that time.”
  • Make manual adjustments. Forego your camera’s automatic settings and use the back of your camera to judge your exposure. “Otherwise the dark sky can make your shot overexposed,” Waters says. “And since the moon is reflecting daylight, the exposure is near what it would be for a sunlit scene in the daytime, so you don’t need a high ISO.”

Good luck, supermoon shutterbugs!

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