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Shooting the Oct 9th Hunter Moon

Updated: Oct 10, 2022

Skywatchers will be able to see the nearly full moon for several nights before and after the Hunter's Moon  —  which gets its name from the fact it once signaled a time to hunt in preparation for the coming winter.

The Hunter's Moon is the first full moon to follow the Harvest Moon  —  which fell on Sept. 10 this year. The Harvest Moon itself is the first full moon after the autumnal equinox that signals the start of fall in the northern hemisphere. This makes the Harvest and Hunter's moons unique as the only full moons that are tied to an astronomical event and can actually happen in different months. 

Depending on its appearance or distance from the Earth, the Moon has different names:  Supermoon - the Moon is closest to the Earth and can appear up to 14% larger in diameter than a full MoonMicromoon - the Moon is furthest from the Earth and is a little harder to photographBlue Moon - when there is more than one full Moon a month. Fun Fact - this very rare occurrence is where the phrase "once in a blue moon" comes fromBlood Moon - when the Moon appears during a lunar eclipse. It has a reddish appearanceEclipse - when the Sun, Earth and Moon line up perfectlySolar eclipse - when the Moon blocks the SunLunar eclipse - when the Earth’s shadow falls on the MoonFor an in-depth understanding of the Moon and its various phases, check out this website: We recommend downloading apps such as PhotoPills, The Photographer's Ephemeris or use sites like and to help you plan and track Moon phases and weather forecast.  

Composition: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EF 400mm f/5.6L USM, ƒ6.3, ISO400, 1/500 sec, 400mm.

Once you’ve decided when to head out and shoot, you need to decide where.

When it comes to astrophotography, location scouting ahead of time is crucial. If you plan on shooting the Moon with a scene in the foreground, the type of lens you choose will impact how the Moon appears. 

Another thing to consider is the ratio of the Moon to the other elements - do you want the Moon to dominate, or hang quietly in the background? When it comes to lighting, heading out too early in the evening or too close to dawn may cause the scene to be overexposed as there will be more light in the sky. The position of the Moon might not necessarily be where you want it to be, which is why planning is crucial. The lighting situation during dawn or dusk could potentially impact your foreground, but this changes depending on the time of year.  


Photographing the Moon, especially on your first few attempts, might take longer to achieve as you familiarise yourself with the settings of your camera. Here are some things we recommend bringing on your shoot:  Interchangeable lens camera75-300mm telephoto lens. The focal range you pick will affect how the Moon appears in your shot. For example, at 75mm, the Moon will be nicely incorporated in your image but won’t dominate the shot, where at 300mm, you’ll be able to capture details of the craters. A lens with a range allows you to experiment without having to lug too many gears around Tripod  Remote shutter release to reduce shake (do note this is mostly necessary if you’re using the Moon as a light source, otherwise, relatively steady hands will do)Torch or a headlamp to help see better in the dark Snacks to keep you going  

How to shoot the MoonCamera Settings:  Mode - put your camera on Manual mode ISO - start with ISO100 for test shots and gradually increase to 200 and then to 400 for optimal resultsAperture - use between f/8 - f/11  Shutter speed - start at 1/125s and test until you get it right  Focus - Manual Focus, especially if you have a lens with a longer focal range and you’re trying to capture a close up shot with details of the Moon   

Looney 11 Rule: In lunar photography, the Looney 11 (or Looney f/11) rule is a way to estimate correct exposures without a light meter.  The rule is to set your aperture to f/11 and shutter speed to the ISO you’ve selected.  Example: If your ISO is 100, the shutter speed should be 1/100s, and ISO 200 puts you at 1/200s. 


1. Position your camera towards the Moon and view it on Live View 2. Ensure your tripod is stable and zoom in as much as you want on the Moon 3. Ensure your camera settings are correct and use your shutter release to take the photo. If you don’t have a shutter release, set a timer to minimise shake 4. Keep playing with the ISO and shutter speed until you get a shot you’re happy with  5. Use digital zoom on your camera to magnify playback and check for any blur spots in your images Shooting the Moon and to have it part of your landscape shot doesn’t have to be intimidating! Just remember it requires a different set of planning - and part of nailing the process is through experimentation and practice.   


Always use Manual Focus Consider the Looney 11 rule Use the lowest base ISO possible Shoot in RAW Consider composition (shooting the Moon standalone, part of the landscape, etc)  Don’t forget to prep ahead of time (especially if you’re trying to capture a special lunar occasion like an eclipse or supermoon) For similar articles:Essential apps to take outdoor photography to the next level3 useful camera functions for shooting nightscapesShooting landscapes with the RF 15-35mm and RF 24-240mm lenses

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