The November supermoon will appear to be the biggest and brightest in living memory as its elliptical orbit brings it closer to the Earth than it has been in nearly 70 years.

The supermoon will make the full lunar disk appear 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than usual on Monday as it comes closer to the Earth than it has done since 1948, and there will be nothing to match it until a similar event on 25 November 2034. Here’s how to take the perfect picture of it:

Use a landmark to get perspective

Everyone will be taking pictures of the supermoon by itself, but some of the best pictures show the moon next to a land mark or trees and houses, which is what helps to give the picture “a sense of place”, says Nasa’s senior photographer, Bill Ingalls. “Think of how to be creative – that means tying it into some land-based object. It can be a local landmark or anything to give your photo a sense of place.” 

Pick the best spot

Location isn’t everything, but it can definitely help with getting a perfect picture of the supermoon if you have time to plan it. You can look up the best monuments or statues in your area to photograph the image of the moon against, like Mr Ingalls does in Washington D.C., where he lives. “It means doing a lot of homework. I use Google Maps and other apps – even a compass – to plan where to get just the right angle at the right time,” he told Nasa.

Get the right exposure

If you’re using a camera where you can control the shutter speed, don’t go for a long exposure even though the picture will be taken in low light, National Geographic photographer Mark Thiessen told the magazine, as it will lose any chance of capturing lunar detail and make the moon itself appear too bright. 

If you’re taking a picture on your camera, control the light balance by first tapping the screen where the moon appears to get the camera to focus on the object before dragging your finger up and down to play with the exposure. “You’ll usually want to drag it down for underexposure to be sure you have all the highlight detail,” National Geographic photographer Michael Christopher Brown said.

You can use a smartphone, but don’t use the zoom

It’s possible to get a good shot of the supermoon on your smartphone, you just need to take a few steps first. Mr Brown said you should only use the optical lens on your phone’s camera. This means don’t use the zoom on your camera as it will compromise the quality of the photo. Instead take the picture and zoom in on the image to enlarge or crop it afterwards.

Use a tripod for your camera or rest your phone on a solid surface 

David Reneke, an astronomer and writer for Australian science magazine told ABC.net that if you’re using an SLR or DSLR then it’s important to play with aperture settings on your camera to photograph the supermoon, but that using a tripod is essential. It’s worth using a tripod for taking pictures with a smartphone too, as any camera shake can compromise the quality of the pictures – but if you don’t have one to hand you can simply rest your phone on a window ledge.

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