Why You Should Photograph Tonight's Full Moon

We shared last week that the United States Postal Service has released a special edition stamp featuring a solar eclipse. Unique for a USPS stamp is that it is heat sensitive, revealing a full moon when the heat of a finger is applied to the moon's silhouette.
 
While the opportunity for photographing a spectacular solar eclipse is coming very soon (August 21), the details shown in the heated stamp's moon will not be available to photograph at that time – the back-lit moon will be totally black. However, tonight's full moon, the last before the upcoming total solar eclipse, provides a great opportunity (weather permitting of course) to capture the image needed to composite into your later-captured solar eclipse images (including even partial solar eclipse images). Compositing the full moon into your solar eclipse images should be relatively easy in post processing, and this strategy provides a great way to differentiate your work from that of other photographers, especially considering that this will likely be the most photographed total solar eclipse in history.
 
Compositing options include full opacity or at a reduced opacity to mimic the moon's details being very slightly perceptible in the shadowed area within the corona (think of it as a high dynamic range total solar eclipse image). Another option is to create animated GIFs.
 
Photographing the moon is also great for gaining experience with your solar eclipse gear setup (sans solar ND filter). Testing now means that there is still time to order or rent alternative gear for the big show.
 
If you don't have the opportunity to photograph tonight's full moon, don't fret – there will be more opportunities coming. Your next chance to capture a full moon image will be September 6, 2017.
 
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Posted: 8/7/2017 8:20:45 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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