Mar 20, 2011

Biggest Moon in 20 years

BULLSHIT!   hahaha

News article - 'Supermoon' to loom large

Well ok, mathematically yes it was but I have seen much bigger with the optical illusion of the harvest moon.

Jen and I stood on the deck and watched the moon rise through the trees and burst into the sky.  It may not have been the biggest moon I've ever "seen" but it was definitely bright.   But to add to the show, the local coyotes started to howl as the moon came up above the trees, that was pretty cool!

Looking around facebook this morning I see a few people tried shooting the moon with their cameras but made the same mistake that I did the first time I shot the moon many years ago.  They let the camera do the work.  Normally I am a believer in using the P or automatic modes (why by a 1k camera and turn off it's brains?) but this is one of the few times where you need to use the manual or shutter priority.  If you don't the camera looks at the night sky and assumes it's night and gives a long exposure that turns the moon into a fireball.  The reality is that the moon is actually very very bright and you treat your photos the same as if you were shooting during the day.   During the shots below, as the moon was rising I started to play with different speeds.  1/200, 1/320, 1/400, 1/500, 1/1000 etc....    For me and my equipment I was using 1/200 as the moon came up and later in the evening when it was at it's brightest I was around 1/2000th!   Those are speeds that you use for race cars, definitely not night time speeds.  You can get away without using a tripod.  I used one as I was at a full 200mm and not all that steady ;-)  

(click for bigger version - but not for you to steal Dale! ;-) )

 An example of letting the camera pick the speed, but I wanted to show the "fireball" coming up through the trees.  Was around this point that the coyotes began to howl.

 Coming up out of the trees.

Later in the evening at it's full brightness.


  1. Very cool! Nice shots Scott!

  2. I merely borrowed the bits and I promise they will be returned.

  3. The 'fireball' shot and the one coming out of the trees are my favorites. Congrats!! :)

  4. LOL, I didn't notice it looking any bigger either. Love your shot with the branches.