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Moonrise Over High Peaks - Pinnacles NM

Posted by
Don Smith (California, United States) on 2 August 2012 in Landscape & Rural.

4th Annual Summer Big Sur Workshop - Mystical Fog and Colorful Headlands - August 21-24, 2012 (space available)
1st Annual Fall in the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park - Fall Color, Mountain Grandeur, and Volcanic Forces - Deluxe Photo Workshop - September 24-28, 2012 (Workshop Sold Out)
4th Annual Arches/Canyonlands Photo Workshop - Moon Over Red Rock, Arches, and Canyons - October 27-31 2012 (3 spots left).
2nd Annual Bryce/Zion Photo Workshop - Bryce Canyon Hoodoos and Zion Fall Color - November 1-5, 2012 (4 spots left).


4th Annual Winter Big Sur - Magic Light, Moonlight, and Pfeiffer Beach Arch - January 26-29, 2013
5th Annual Northern Arizona Photo Workshop - Grand Canyon, Page (Antelope Canyon/Horseshoe Bend) and Sedona - March 25-29, 2013 (just added)
6th Annual Spring in Big Sur and the Monterey Peninsula - May 6-9, 2013
4th Annual Kauai Workshop - Garden Isle and Tropical Paradise - June 21-25, 2013 (see special early-bird signup offer - ends August 31)

New tutorial video on my website: HDR The Old-Fashioned Way With Don Smith

I had just missed my window of opportunity to photograph a full moon rising over the high peaks of central-California's Pinnacles National Monument last night. For those not accustomed to photographing the moon, let's start with the premise that I like photographing detail in any moon I shoot that is over a half full (just the opposite for crescents). The moon last night was at 94.1% - close enough to appear full. Yet, the opportune time to capture the moon's detail and blend it with the landscape in one frame is a relatively small window (about 20 minutes) and I missed the window by 15 minutes. As you can see, the contrast range between the moon and the landscape exceeded what my camera's sensor could capture. This was a tough one to predict because of my proximity to the peaks and the jaggedness of the peaks (wasn't quite sure where I would first see the moon though I knew the general direction I would see it). I nonetheless made this image that I like.

The cooler news is that the Pinnacles seems to be headed for National Park status. To read more, please see my latest blog post by clicking here.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III 4/5 seconds F/5.6 ISO 800 400 mm

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