Sunday, August 30, 2015

Planning and shooting the full moon of August

So, did you see it? Last night's full moon? It was as beautiful as always to see the full moon slowly rise above the horizon. I never get tired of seeing the Moon and Sun rise and set. These events are always a joy to watch and you never know what will happen regarding the light and other optical phenomena. Last night was no exception.

So, this time I had planned a location in forehand to get a shot with the moon above a big residential building called Fagerskrapan about 3 km away. According to my calculations the full moon should be visible around 20:12 - 20:15 Swedish summer time and at 20:14 it popped up right about where I expected it to, about three degrees to the left of Fagerskrapan.

Nikon D800E 1/180 sec, ISO 200, 600mm f/4.0

Then just three minutes later the Moon was closing in on the building and I noticed I had to move a bit to get it closer to the roof of the building. When doing these final adjustments you don't need to move much. Perhaps I moved about 20-30 meters away from my original spot.

Nikon D800E 1/180 sec, ISO 200, 600mm f/4.0

As the Moon got even closer to the building I went from 600 mm to 1,000 mm in focal length to get a more dramatic perspective of the scene.

Nikon D800E 1/90 sec, ISO 400, 1,000mm f/6.7

Now it was all about waiting for the right moment and and keep shooting. At a focal length of 1,000 mm the Moon moves pretty fast over the sky.

Nikon D800E 1/180 sec, ISO 400, 1,000mm f/6.7

One minute later I took this shot when the Moon was connected to Fagerskrapan by the big antenna on the roof. I shot it in portrait mode and have then cropped it to a square format. I like the fact that this antenna are connecting the two objects.

So in all it took the Moon about 6 minutes to make the trip from horizon and to the top of the building. That's not much so if you try to capture a moon or sunrise you need good preparations and planing in forehand.

Finally I realized that I might get a photo of a clock and the Moon exactly when it was at 100% which occurred at 20:38 Swedish summer time. This wasn't something I've planned but I realized it in the last few minutes and I soon realized that from my current location I wasn't able to get that shot, but it would be close.

Nikon D800E 1/125 sec, ISO 400, 1,000mm f/6.7

So this last photo was taken at 20:29 so 9 minutes to early. Had I waited for another 9 minutes the Moon had been long gone from that church tower, close but no cigar. The good side of the is that now I got another shot to do at another full moon :-)

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