Welcome Autumn!

by | Sep 22, 2010 | Tips & Tricks | 0 comments

Though the trees are still mostly green, though yesterdays temperatures rose almost to 90 degrees, though in most respects it still feels like summer . . . there’s a particular rasp in the breeze-tossed trees, the chill of night lingers longer each morning, the evidence announces that a new season of the year has arrived. As of today, it is officially autumn!


On my way back from work this evening, I noticed the full, over-sized moon rising near the pale horizon with that enigmatic appearance which typically accompanies the arrival of the autumnal equinox. It was not until after the firmamental phenomenon had faded that I was able to pick up a camera, but the moon was still a fascination to me, hanging there in the deepening dusk, and I figured it was better shot then not.

I’ve learned a few things about shooting the moon over the years:

  • The best time to shoot the moon is at sunrise or sunset when the moon is at it’s full, and preferably close to an equinox.
  • Including complementary foreground subjects ensures interesting compositions.
  • The moon moves faster than you think; it will literally move out of your composition if you’re taking your time with a tripod or waiting for correct positioning of foreground objects.
  • Shoot from as high an elevation as you can to catch it as close to the horizon as possible.
  • Under expose a stop or two to get nice texture in the moon.
  • The moon rises approximately 50 minutes later each day. If it’s in the right spot at the right time one night, I won’t be the next.
  • Clouds, when surrounding but not totally covering the moon, always enhance a composition because it gives texture to the surrounding areas in the sky. This is not very common.
  • Experiment with long exposures! I’ve gotten a lot of interesting pictures using this technique. 🙂


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