Shooting the moon


The moon orbits the Earth in an elliptical pattern, meaning, among other things, that it varies in how close it is to the planet. When a full moon coincides with a day when it is closest to the Earth in its orbit, the moon appears both bigger and brighter. 2 years ago, the moon was closer to the Earth than it had been in about 9 years, and this supermoon was dubbed the mega moon:

The March 19, 2011 supermoon was 356,577 kilometers (221,566 miles) away from Earth. The last time the full moon approached so close to Earth was in 1993. It was about 20 percent brighter and 15 percent bigger than a regular full moon.

Even more remarkably (yet strangely not even noted on the Wiki page), on that 2011 date, I was many months into my own 365-day trajectory of daily photography. This meant that not only did I keep my camera handy, I also had by that time learned to use it on full manual, and learned the advantages of using a tripod. In other words, I was in just the right position, in time, space and personal circumstances, to shoot the moon.¹

Even so, it was a bit of an adventure. Living as I do in a heavily wooded area, there was quite a bit of trial and error finding the right spot for the tripod. Not to mention figuring out the right exposure.

This shot, for example, showed me the futility of trying to get a photo without the tripod.

This shot was overexposed, and while it is a lovely glowing white circle, it could just as easily have been…a glowing white circle.

The more I got the moon into focus, the more the surrounding trees made themselves apparent.

Moving the tripod around got me different views of different branches, many of which I actually quite liked.

Eventually, I both found the right place to get a tree-free view, and figured out the right settings to actually see more details with my telphoto lens than my naked eye could make out.

I admit that I was pretty excited. Perhaps not over-the-moon excited, but quite pleased with myself, nonetheless.

This week’s friday foto finder challenge was to share a photo for the theme “moon.” To see more moons, pay a visit to the fff blog.

¹ I’ve had this title in mind for a while, as this was a set of photos I’d meant to share ages ago. (As in probably in 2011.) I was reminded of this when I saw a post by my friend Sarah also called Shooting the Moon, though with a completely different reference. When Archie announced a couple days after that the fff theme was “moon,” I figured it was all a sign that these were the photos I should post.²

² Especially since, I’m sorry to say, I couldn’t even motivate myself to even go outside and look at last month’s supermoon. It’s not that I was, you know, over the moon, but without the push of daily photography, I am much less likely to get out the tripod. Plus I was tired.³

³ And besides, I’d already recently posted photos related to a different meaning of the word moon.

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5 responses to “Shooting the moon

  1. Gorgeous!! I’ve wanted to get a good shot of the moon but I don’t know enough about my good camera yet. I’m super impressed!

  2. Really great pics with the tripod — I’m envious! :b

  3. Fabulous! I also like those branchy ones. Your first non-tripod one looks about how all my moon pics turn out…

  4. Wow. The successful photo is really impressive, but I also like the branchy ones. I love the moon.

  5. WOW! That is really beautiful (and very impressive)!

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