Autumn is full of beautiful change and spectacular colour, and the harvest moon sets the bar for the season. Here’s how you can capture it on camera!

You might prefer the searing heat of summer (if you live outside the UK), and ice creams on the beach. But, you can’t deny that autumn is a bountiful treat when it comes to natural wonders and pastoral beauty. Sure, it starts to get a bit cooler – but that nip in the morning air can be an exciting signpost towards cosy gatherings and festive fun. Leaves gradually transitioning to a warm amber in the slanting shadows makes for a very photograph-worthy sight. And so too does the astronomical activity.

The September full moon, aka the harvest moon, is the first full moon that occurs closest to the autumnal equinox. This applies to those in the Northern Hemisphere at least – if you’re in the South, then you can catch this event in March/April. It sits low in the sky, just above the horizon after sun set. This year, the harvest moon rose just after midnight this morning (21st September). If you didn’t catch its first appearance, fear not! This bright and full celestial body will stick around for a couple of days, giving you time to get a stunning snap of it.

How to Photograph the Moon

If you’ve ever tried to capture the moon on your phone for an Instagram story, you’ll know it doesn’t really work. If you want to get a serious shot of the moon, and not just a bleary, yellowy dot, there are a few rules you’ll need to follow.

Although appearing large, the harvest moon is still, of course, pretty far away. You’ll need a decent zoom ability and high sensitivity, which is something smartphones just can’t really manage. The best shots will come from professional cameras, and a telephoto or zoom lens. To avoid a smudgy mess, a sturdy tripod is an absolute must. If you can, use a delay timer to take the shot. This means no shaking when you press the shutter, allowing you to get in even tighter on your subject whilst maintaining a sharp image.

Enabling your camera to work at maximum capacity is a good idea when attempting something as tricky as photographing the harvest moon. Setting the image size to Raw allows your camera to store files at the largest size available.

This comprehensive and easy to follow video from Photo Genius is perfect for beginner photographers hoping to snap the moon. Check it out to be guided through exactly how to set up your camera to give yourself the best chance at a detailed shot of the harvest moon.

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