4 NASA Tips for Taking Photos of Lunar Eclipse

NASA's senior photographer Bill Ingalls spills his secrets
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2015 7:26 AM CDT
4 NASA Tips for Taking Photos of Lunar Eclipse
A partially eclipsed full moon sets behind a statue of a Kansa Indian at the Kansas Statehouse, Saturday, April 4, 2015 in Topeka, Kan.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Want people to be wowed by your photos of today's extra special supermoon eclipse—the last one until 2033? NASA does too, which is why its senior photographer Bill Ingalls is sharing a few tips that should keep your photos from turning out a blurred mess.

  • How to stand out: "Don’t make the mistake of photographing the moon by itself with no reference to anything," says Ingalls. "Everyone will get that shot." Try to include a local landmark or other object "to give your photo a sense of place," he says.
  • Include friends and family: You don't have to stick with landmarks. "There are lots of great photos of people appearing to be holding the moon in their hand and that kind of thing," says Ingalls. "You can get really creative with it." Since this eclipse won't occur very late at night—it'll peak at 10:47pm EDT—kids could join in.

  • Think about angles: Ingalls says he uses a compass and apps like Google Maps "to plan where to get just the right angle at the right time." That might mean planning your vantage point ahead of time, "getting permission to access rooftops, or traveling to remote areas to avoid light pollution."
  • Experiment with smartphones: Don't expect to get a photo of a giant moon with a smartphone, but try for "something more panoramic, including some foreground that’s interesting," says Ingalls. Remember to focus the shot on the moon, usually by holding your finger on it, "then slide your finger up or down to darken or lighten the exposure."
Get more NASA tips here. (More supermoon stories.)

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