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Crescent Moonrise, Yosemite NP

Posted by
Don Smith (California, United States) on 16 May 2011 in Landscape & Rural.

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Calculating a moonrise (or set) from your shooting position is easy to do if you are shooting at sea level with no obstructions, but that is hardly the case for most moon images. Generally we are at some elevation and the moon must appear over some obstructions (think mountains).

On a recent Gary Hart Yosemite workshop that I helped teach, Gary positioned his group to capture this 4.8% waning crescent moon rising between the iconic silhouettes of El Capitan and Half Dome. Gary determined this information with the help of an iPhone app and a knowledge of plotting the information with the help of a topo map. Here is an account of the morning in Gary's words: Gary Hart's blog post

I'd like to preface all this but saying that there is an unwritten law amongst photographers (especially pros) that certain images, if found by one photographer, should be credited to that photographer, and certainly Gary gets full credit for coming up with this image. As the old saying goes, I just showed up.

Upon returning home, I used the camera's metadata to see if I could plot the same information using a piece of software called The Photographer's Ephemeris. I have now condensed this information into an article titled: Calculating a Moonrise Using The Photographer's Ephemeris.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III 4 seconds F/11.0 ISO 200 300 mm

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