Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Perigee Moon and I

Being the nerd that I am I heard about the larger than normal full moon a few days before it happened.  By some grace of God New England was not inundated with clouds and I headed out that evening with my camera and tripod in search of the moon.  

You'd think a giant full moon wouldn't be hard to find, but the thing about Vermont is that its full of hills, deep valleys, and poor views of the horizon, unless you own a million dollar house on top of a hill top.  I do not own such a house so I drove around searching for high roads and clearings.  When I finally found one the moon had been in the sky for an hour and was already shrinking.  

I hurried to set up my camera and tripod in the mediocre site I chose.  Basically, it was the first and only spot I could find a view of the moon near the horizon.  Note to self... must scout out better sunrise locations for next time... twenty years from now. 

Another issue I ran into was my complete and utter lack of experience in taking photos of the moon.  Actually, I have never taken photos of the moon.  My night photography is very limited.  So I ran into a huge problem when it came to taking photos of the perigee moon... I had no idea what I was doing and no idea what settings to use.  

I tried to zoom in on the moon, but rather than capturing a photo of craters and shadows on the moon's surface I only managed to photograph a blazing white ball in an utterly back black drop.  The correct settings and technique eluded me as the moon rose higher in the sky.  In the end I just snapped a landscape photo.

To my surprise the moon illuminated the landscape almost as well as the sun with just a short four second exposure.  While this photo doesn't illustrate the size and beauty of the moon I am pleased that I captured an interesting and decently composed landscape photo in the dark of night!

The lesson here...
Even if you don't know how to optimize your subject or how to capture what you are envisioning exactly if you stick with what you know you can still take great photos. 


  1. That was a funny read, and I like the picture a lot. Looks more like sunrise, and it is amazing that it is moon light! :-)

  2. Well it still turned out great. We Had complete cloud cover here (most of the state) so there was no way I could drive anywhere to get a shot.

  3. I had a disappointing experience, as well...although humorous in retrospect. I did get a couple of decent photos before the moon disappeared into the thick cloud cover for the rest of the night.

    If you have any interest, you can read about my experience and see my few photos of the Super Moon here... http://www.notquitecountrygirl.com/NQC-Life.html

  4. You might take a look at this link...moon photos are not easy to do...especially full moon because of all the light. But keep trying. The shot you got is beautiful...moon, water, trees and snow...how much better can it get?



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