Shooting the Moon

"Moonrise over Clement Park".

Shooting the moon has more than one meaning and sorry to say, I’ve not participated in the other one… yet. Lots of experience photographing both sun and moon rises and settings. The image above is icing on the cake, taking the more traditional moon rising over the lake shots (see below) to a much higher level.

We always hear about the “lucky shot” and I’ve always maintained that photographers make their own luck, it’s not happenstance at all. This full moonrise session is a great example of that. We saw the moon rising an hour before sunset during our Tuesday night stroll around the lake. Too much light in the sky for a great shot and a quick check of the SoLuna iPhone app told me the full moon was still 1 night away and it would rise at 8:40 p.m. – just after the official sunset time of 8:29 p.m.


The Tuesday preview showed me where the moon would again rise against the horizon on Wednesday night and a check of the LightTrac iPhone app confirmed that.

Gear choice was simple: Canon 5d with 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS lens and the “sticks” (tripod). As I walked toward the corner of the lake to set up I noticed two fishermen at the water’s edge. In my mind I could visualize a shot silhouetting them against the moon and lake so I filed that idea and walked over to them. We had a great conversation, I checked out the hefty string of fish they’d caught, and I told them about the upcoming moon rise.

Sure enough, the big orange ball appeared at the horizon in the perfect spot. Several onlookers stopped behind me to “oowww” and “ahhhh”, take photos themselves with camera phones. After shooting the bread and butter photographs I set up behind the fishermen to include them in the scene.

While I like the two photographs below because the reflection in the water adds depth and more drama to the moon rise than had it been shot without, I love the image with the fishermen. Far more depth and interest, don’t you think?

Moon just cresting the horizon. Clement Park, Littleton, CO

Johnson Lake in Clement Park.

Barry Staver Photography is all about “storytelling with a camera” exceeding expectations with eye-catching photography.

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