Shooting the Moon – Day & Night

There was a full moon when I was in Moab for a photography workshop. It popped up in both my night and day photos; sometimes as the subject and sometimes as a light source.

We went to Balanced Rock in Arches National Park to do some lightpainting. Moon glow at Balance RockAll the students were given the opportunity to lightpaint Balance Rock. It turned in to a bit of a race to see if we could all get done before the moon rose into a position where the moonlight would over power our lights.wpid1279-Moab-9845.jpg Catching the moon at the edge of the rock produced a starburst effect.
wpid1088-Moab-9866-283.jpgI captured a silhouette of Balanced Rock from the parking lot where the moon shows up as a blown out starburst.
The next morning we were at the Double Arch/Windows/Turret Arch area for sunrise. wpid1284-Moab-9873.jpg In exposing for the foreground, the moon shows up as blown out starburst, you don’t see any detail in the moon. Both of these highlight how difficult it is to capture a photo where there is detail in the moon and a foreground element. You can focus on the moon, zoom as far as you can and get something similar to this photograph I took in California in January.wpid1268-Route66-6269.jpg I cropped the photo to make it even larger, but you end with the moon and nothing else. Not that interesting.

A photograph of the moon will look more interesting with something else to balance it out. At Turret Arch I zoomed through the opening in the arch to make the moon look bigger while still maintaining some foreground.wpid1092-Moab-9924.jpg This took care of the composition, but I still needed to shoot as an HDR to get the full dynamic range. I converted to black and white so that the color of the rock didn’t compete with the moon.wpid1094-Moab-9925-343.jpg

According to the Farmers’ Almanac, the full moon in June is called the “Full Strawberry Moon” as it’s been used by tribes as a signal to gather ripening fruit. This June, the full moon falls on June 22 and 23 and the moon will appear the closest and largest of the year.

One thought on “Shooting the Moon – Day & Night

Comments are closed.