Super Blood Moon photography tips: an expert's guide

A rare Super Blood Moon will be visible over Canberra on Wednesday night. Picture: Ari Rex
A rare Super Blood Moon will be visible over Canberra on Wednesday night. Picture: Ari Rex

On Wednesday evening a rare lunar event will see the moon glow a bright and beautiful red.

Nicknamed the Super Blood Moon, the Earth's sunrise and sunset will give a red glow to a bigger than usual moon. To best capture the "fantastic moment" for astro enthusiasts, award-winning photographer Ari Rex will head out of town and away from light pollution.

While his arsenal includes several cameras worth more than $20,000, Mr Rex said a good lens was more important than an expensive camera. Armed with this knowledge and a few basic tricks, even amateur photographers will be able to capture the Blood Moon in all its glory, Mr Rex said.

Ari Rex captured the previous Blood Moon over Canberra from the Arboretum, which he does not recommend for this event. Picture: Ari Rex

Ari Rex captured the previous Blood Moon over Canberra from the Arboretum, which he does not recommend for this event. Picture: Ari Rex

Early is easier

"Before the moon enters the Earth's umbra it is quite bright and it's full so you don't really need a professional camera," Mr Rex said.

He said as the Earth's shadow slowly covers the moon it gets darker and darker, meaning from about 9pm it will pay to have good gear.

"Then you will definitely need a fast-aperture lens," Mr Rex said.

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He recommended a telephoto lens at least 200 millimetres, right up to 1600 millimetres, so the moon doesn't look like a speck in the sky.

Take a tripod

Mr Rex said a tripod was pretty crucial with or without a professional lens, just make sure the stabiliser was turned off.

"The shadow speed will be quite slow and the longer the focal lens - the closer you are to the moon - the more it's going to move," he said.

Mr Rex said the movement was a result of the Earth and the moon's rotation.

Mr Rex uses several cameras to capture event such as a Blood Moon, including a Canon 5d Mark IV, R, 80D and modified infrared Canon 5d Mark III, Canon 6d full spectrum and Canon 700d and 6d Astro modified. Picture: Ari Rex

Mr Rex uses several cameras to capture event such as a Blood Moon, including a Canon 5d Mark IV, R, 80D and modified infrared Canon 5d Mark III, Canon 6d full spectrum and Canon 700d and 6d Astro modified. Picture: Ari Rex

"You still have to have a camera that handles a high ISO because you have to ramp up the ISO in the camera to compensate for the loss of light."

Head to the backyard or the bush

When Canberra experienced a blood moon in 2018, Mr Rex captured it from the National Arboretum. This time he will head further out of town to escape light pollution.

"The Blood Moon will be rising in the east so you should leave the light pollution behind and stay away from main highways," Mr Rex said.

The Blood Moon glows read over the National Arboretum in Canberra in 2018. Picture: Ari Rex

The Blood Moon glows read over the National Arboretum in Canberra in 2018. Picture: Ari Rex

Turn off devices before viewing

Mr Rex said viewing and photographing the moon is enhanced when eyes have had a chance to adjust to the dark.

For this reason, he recommended turning off devices prior to getting snap happy.

Stargazers take in the Blood Moon in 2018. Picture: Ari Rex

Stargazers take in the Blood Moon in 2018. Picture: Ari Rex

What about with a mobile phone?

Mr Rex said you will need to have one of the latest smartphones to capture the Blood Moon in any quality. For best results, he recommended a tripod or resting the phone on a flat surface to keep it still.

"If you have a decent phone with a good range and you know how to press on the moon and lower the exposure you might come out with something nice," he said.

This story A photographer's tips on how to capture the Blood Moon first appeared on The Canberra Times.