Shooting tips to take super photos of the Supermoon

9th November 2016

On Monday 14 November, we’ll get to enjoy the brightest, closest ‘supermoon’ since 1948. And it won’t be back until 2034, so grab your cameras and let’s get shooting!

Here are a few key tips from the Canon Collective photography experts to get you started:

Elisa EvesImage Credit: Elisa Eves

  1. Exposure settings:

    The moon will rise earlier in the evening when there is still plenty of ambient light available. Because the moon’s a moving subject, shoot with a relatively fast shutter speed. As a starting point I’d recommend TV mode and 1/200 if you’re shooting handheld, or 1/50 if you’re using a tripod. If you’re shooting around sunset, an ISO around 400 will also help your camera select a mid-range f-stop for great depth of field. Just remember, the moon is bright, so you may need to underexpose to capture the detail on the moon’s surface.
  2. Gear:

    Grab your lens with the longest focal length – the longer the lens the closer the moon will appear. A tripod and cable release will also help stabilise your kit if you’re using a long lens.
  3. Composition:

    For something different, try to capture the moon while it’s close to the horizon. The lower the moon the greater chance of incorporating a foreground, which will help you create a sense of scale. For something unique, get creative with your composition: perhaps try shooting a silhouette; grab a mate and have them pose in front of the brightly lit the moon; or perhaps try capturing a plane, an iconic building or some trees in front of the moon.

Above all, be prepared. Timing can mean the difference between a good and a great photograph. The moon rises quickly, so secure your vantage point and plan your composition a head of time.

To get you thinking, the Canon Collective Ambassadors have pulled together a list of recommended locations.

Kerena Tran

Image by Kerena, Canon Australia staff


Sydney Supermoon at Balmoral Beach

“I love Iconic Sydney, and I’ll be at Balmoral experimenting with the foreground and the North Headland,” says Sydney’s Emma Desira.

Sydney Supermoon at Long Reef

For the Northern Beaches, the array of rock pools would be my first pick for locations. I’ll be at Long Reef Headland and looking out for leading lines in the foreground to enhance the composition’” says Sydney’s Jenn Cooper.


Brisbane Supermoon at Story Bridge

Given the direction of the moon rising, I’d consider shooting from one of the many rooftop bars in south Brisbane across towards the CBD. Frame the supermoon within the modern urban landscape that is Brisbane's city. Consider shooting mid-range (i.e. 50 to 70mm) and compose with an iconic Brisbane building to help identify the city,” says Brisbane’s Colin Baker.

“Mt Cootha Lookout will also provide an epic location to shoot from. Using a lens with at least 300mm of zoom will allow you to amplify the moon’s size using a technique called ‘depth compression’ and frame it rising over the city. This will give an effect of the moon being even larger again, all in camera with no Photoshop required!” says Brisbane’s Colin Baker.


Melbourne Supermoon at St Kilda

“St Kilda Marina is a great option for those in Melbourne. Shooting with the Pier and the restaurant that sits at the end can create great perspective for a really interesting shot,” says Melbourne’s Erin Kostopulous.

Now it’s your turn, grab your camera and go and enjoy what is sure to be a spectacular sight.

The Canon Collective are offering free events to shot the supermoon but be quick as numbers are limited. Visit the website for these and other events in your area which are updated weekly. Happy Shooting!

See the Supermoon in a city nearest to you! 



South Australia


Article by Emma Desira. Banner image credit: Kerena. Thanks to Elisa Eve, Kerena, and Surflife Austraila Photography


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