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Full Moon Over San Benito County

Posted by
Don Smith (California, United States) on 7 September 2009 in Landscape & Rural.


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If you follow my blog with any regularity you know I love shooting moonrises and sets. Full moons, as a general rule, are best captured the day before the actual full moon as the rise time is usually close to sunset time. This is important when trying to match to light on the moon (essentially a daylight exposure) to the light on the landscape.

Such was the case for this image which I captured east of Hollister, California, along Quien Sabe Road in San Benito County. This particular moon started rising 30 minutes prior to posted sunset time. Because moonrise times are calculated for a flat horizon, I had to factor in the extra time needed before it would appear over the horizon. I had photographed this location before and knew it would take about 25 minutes before I would see it.

The next calculation was where the moon would rise. I used The Photographer's Ephemeris , a cool (and free) piece of software that works in conjunction with Google Earth and helps with moon and sun calculations. I also paid attention to the shadows of the trees (as the moon rises opposite the sunset) and that got me pointed in the general vicinity. I was hoping the moon would rise directly over this peak but it wasn't to be.

Nonetheless, I was happy with the image and loved the little fence line as it serves to work the eye up and through the frame. I used my Canon 400 mm f2.8L with a 1.4x converter to compress the scene.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III 1/125 second F/8.0 ISO 400 560 mm

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