Photograph the Moon Rise at Sunset Tonight, October 4, 2017

Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve: Super Moon Rise

The moon will rise shortly before sunset tonight, providing a perfect opportunity to photograph the moon near the horizon at sunset.  Here are 38 degrees north it’ll rise about 15 minutes before sunset, and be about 1.6 degrees high, or three moon widths, above a zero-degree horizon at sunset.

Mono Lake Moonrise (Re-edit)

About ten minutes later as you may start to see the earth’s shadow rise above the horizon, its blue color contrasting against the adjacent pink-orange last light of the sun in the “belt of Venus” effect, the moon will be about 3.5 degrees high, seven moon widths.

Super Moon Reflection

In apps such as The Photographer’s Ephemeris and PhotoPills you can fine tune the times and moon direction and elevation for any shooting spot you might want to plan for.  Plan well enough, and you can anticipate compositions that place the moon reflecting in lakes, or beside or just over natural or man-made landmarks.

Moon Rise Behind Half Dome

Similar opportunities present themselves on the opposite horizon with the moon set at sunrise, so look at your favorite astrophotography app and start planning! You can combine opportunities, such as catching a moon coming out of eclipse, as it sets behind a nearby ridge.

Partially Eclipsed Moon Setting, October 8, 2014

Or place the moon on a man-made structure like the tip of the Transamerica building in San Francisco.  I started shooting this sequence of images about 15 minutes ahead of time to show how the placement of the moon can be accurately planned in advance, and rendering the images as a time-lapse video lets you see the entire sequence:

Plan to Shoot the April 14/15 2014 Lunar Eclipse: Example Landing on the Transamerica Pyramid
As calculated, the moon ends up centered on the tip of the pyramid!

For a discussion of advanced considerations, read the article, “I’ve planned my supermoon eclipse shot: what could possibly go wrong?

For a bonus on the tomorrow morning, I see in my SkyWeek+ app that the planets moonVenus and Mars will be within 1/4 degree of each other before dawn on October 5.  The StarWalk+ app shows me that they will be rising by about 5:10 am roughly due east.  Photograph them on and close to the horizon, then conditions should continue to improve improve by around 6 am as they’re rising out of the thicker air and haze close to the horizon.  At that point they are still low enough to be captured in landscape shots as the oncoming twilight increasingly illuminates the landscape.  The sun rises close to 7 am, so they may fade as the sky brightens, and Mars in particular may be long gone by 6:30 am.

Venus Jupiter Moon Conjunction

You never know what you might come up with.  A while back I shot the moon with Jupiter and Venus rising nearby, and my photo was used in an article by astronomer Don Olson of the University of Texas, in an article in the August issue of Sky & Telescope Magazine!

I haven’t looked up the phase that Venus is in, but if you have a strong enough lens, youc an see that it’s illuminated in a crescent phase.

Multi-Colored UFO?

The first step is to anticipate and plan for some great opportunities with the moon and/or planets. Then get out there and shoot! Tonight at sunset and tomorrow before dawn offer you a couple of good ones to start with. You never know what you might discover!

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Sunset Moon Rise Coming December 24

Mono Lake moon rise November 16, 2013

A few times each year, the moon rises at just the right time to be visible during sunset, while there’s enough light on the landscape to capture that in the photo as well.  That will happen this month on December 24, Christmas Eve.  I’m not suggesting that you ditch the family to go chase the moon, just step outside at sunset, look to the east, and you’ll have one more reason for the night to be a particularly memorable one.

If you might also want to photograph the moon, I’ve collected some notes on this blog post that I started in 2006:

How to Plan Great Full Mooon Rise and Set Shots
http://activesole.blogspot.com/2006/11/plan-ahead-for-great-full-moon-rise-and.html

I’m not sure if we’ll head down to Mono Lake.  I’ve been going there for decades and my kids have been going there for all of their lives, so it holds a lot of sentimental value for us. It’s pretty close by, so if the weather is nice, we may head down there.  The light could be particularly nice around: 4:35 – 4:55 pm.  Ping me on social media if you’re down there, in case we’re standing a few feet down the shore from each other!

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Total Lunar Eclipse September 27, 2015

lunar eclipse

Lunar Eclipse September 27, 2015.

The partly cloudy forecast and webcam images didn’t look all that promising in the Eastern Sierra yesterday afternoon, so I ditched my plans to pursue one of several compositions that I had worked out, and I stayed home to see if the moon would make any appearance at all. Here’s the story and some of my results from the event.

Total Lunar Eclipse September 27, 2015: wide angle time-lapse and 640mm effective live action footage from the total lunar eclipse last night.  The partly cloudy forecast and webcam images didn’t look all that promising in the Eastern Sierra yesterday afternoon, so I ditched my plans to pursue one of several compositions that I had worked out, and I stayed home to see if the moon would make any appearance at all.

I watched for about an hour after it was supposed to rise at 6:44, but there was no sign of it, so I left my camera shooting a sequence of images for a time-lapse video, and I went back inside.  A few minutes later, the fully eclipsed moon was visible through a break in the clouds, from 7:56 – 8:06.  I came back out a while later, but the moon was behind the clouds, so I didn’t know that it had made a brief appearance until I reviewed the images later!

As the moon was more than halfway through the partial, umbral phase coming out of total eclipse, it emerged from the clouds and starting lighting up the clouds and landscape with increasingly bright light.

As the face of the moon returned to fully lit in the penumbral phase of the eclipse, there was a nice halo of color around the moon, so I set up a second camera to capture that.  I used my Canon EOS 70D with the EF 70-200mm f/4 IS L Series lens and a 2X teleconverter, for an effective focal length of 640mm.  The clouds were moving pretty quickly, so I also captures dome live video of the clouds moving across the face of the moon.  I had the camera on a sky-tracking mount, so the moon remains essentially still in the frame.

I didn’t shoot where I expected or capture what I anticipated, but by being there to catch changes in the weather, I captured some interesting results.

#lunareclipse #bloodmoon #september #2015 #astronomy #astrophotography #nightphotography

 

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See the “Super moon” Total Eclipse September 27 – 28, 2015!

Lunar Eclipse April 4, 2015

September 27, 2015, 6 pm –  See the “supermoon” total eclipse tonight!  For watchers in the Rocky Mountain states, partial eclipse begins at 7:11 pm local time, so look outside now!

For those of us on the West Coast of North America, the moon is below the horizon; moon rise occurs closer to sunset.  Here in the Eastern Sierra, local moon rise is around 6:44 pm and sunset is around 6:47 pm, depending upon how far north or south you are. The moon will clear the horizon to the east right around sunset, well into its partial eclipse phase, and be fully eclipsed from 7:11 – 8:23 pm. Then as the moon exits total eclipse, it will be in a partial eclipse for over an hour more.

For more specific eclipse phase timing in your region, see the article at www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/lunar/2015-september-28

Good luck with your lunar eclipse viewing and photography, let me know how you did!


Photography notes from the April 5, 2015 lunar eclipse:

Lunar eclipses are a fun challenge, in part because they push the limits of your equipment.  The image above was captured at 4:51 am during the April 4 lunar eclipse this year, about 6-7 minutes before totality, so there was a sliver of bright sunlight on the moon.

The Canon EF 70-200 f/4 IS lens that I used was well focused, but shooting any lens at it’s maximum aperture tends to result in slightly less sharp images.  Adding more glass elements such as the 2X teleconverter further challenges sharpness.  Adding a teleconverter also reduces the f-stop, in this case 2X to f/8.  I wanted to stay at or below below 1 second exposure time to reduce motion blur, and at ISO 1600 I could use 0.6 second.  The high ISO also creates a little bit of noise, which can also challenge fine detail.

I had changed my shooting location when the weather forecast made the original ones I had identified look less attractive with below freezing temperatures, high winds, and possible clouds to obscure the eclipse.  I decided to just catch what i could from home.  I was shooting a time-lapse sequence, and shooting at 400mm I had room to lengthen the exposure time as the moon darkened, but  and the moon set just before totality.

I had my Canon 70D with a Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 lens on a star-tracking mount to capture a time-lapse of the eclipse progress without the moon moving out of the field of view.  at 300mm the effective focal length was 480mm, but shooting wide open at f/5.6 that lens was a little softer than the EF 70-200mm and 2X teleconverter combo, even with the moon’s relative motion taken out of the equation.

I was basically using the 5D Mark III to measure and track exposure as the eclipse progressed and the moon illumination constantly changed.

The 70D / 70-300mm combo is a lot lighter than the 5Dmkiii / 70-200mm / 2X combo.  Heavier camera bodies and longer, heavier lenses can sometimes cause various problems with sky tracking mounts, but it may be worthwhile to test the 5Dmkiii /70-200mm / 2X setup on the sky tracker and backing off of the maximum aperture and a stop or two on the ISO to get more sharpness and less noise, lengthening the exposure time.

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See the "supermoon" total eclipse tonight!

For sky watchers in the Rocky Mountain states, partial eclipse begins at 7:11 pm local time, so look outside now!

For those of us on the West Coast of North America, moon rise occurs closer to sunset, in a little over 30 minutes. Here in the Eastern Sierra, local moon rise is around 6:44 pm and sunset is around 6:47 pm. The moon will clear the horizon to the east right around sunset, well into its partial eclipse phase, and be fully eclipsed from 7:11 – 8:23 pm.

See my blog post for more details: www.MyPhotoGuides.com
#astronomy #astrophotography #lunareclipse #september2015 #supermoon #moon

See the Supermoon Total Lunar Eclipse Tonight!

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Bodie Open Until 10 pm Tonight, with Supermoon Rise

Bodie is offering one of its Ghost Stories tour nights tonight, which means that they let other park visitors stay late too. It's also a "supermoon" full moon today, and in a setting like Bodie with an eastern horizon about 3.5 degrees in elevation it'll rise over the apparent horizon during or right after peak sky color, about 20 minutes after sunset.

It gets fully dark around 9:04 pm, so you can also have nearly an hour of full moon night photography before the park closes. As you can imagine, the park can be super crowded on a night like this, so don't expect to have it, or any particular subject, to yourself, but for the novelty of the overall experience or for practice shooting interesting subjects (and people) under full moon lighting, it's nice that the park makes such opportunities available.

For a much longer, much less crowded experience, we have two more nights left in Bodie this year, October 11 and 12, when we'll enjoy dark, moonless skies and 5 hours of fully dark night shooting in Bodie: http://www.jeffsullivanphotography.com/blog/bodie-night-photography-workshops/

www.MyPhotoGuides.com
#supermoon #fullmoon #astrophotography #Bodie

Originally shared by +Jeff Sullivan

Look for the Moon Rise at Sunset Tonight!
It'll clear the horizon around 7:30 pm in Bodie tonight… I'm heading there now!
blog: www.MyPhotoGuides.com
#moon #moonphotography #astrophotography

 

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Supermoon Saturday is Coming!

Do you know where your moon will be? With +PhotoPills you can figure it out!

www.MyPhotoGuides.com
#astrophotography #astronomy #supermoon #moon #photography

All You Need To Make This Saturday’s Supermoon Shine In Your Photos | PhotoPills
You’re about to learn how to shoot pictures of the Supermoon that will give people goosebumps. Are you ready?

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Moon, Mars and Venus Conjunction over Mount Whitney

I was evaluating places to capture the moon with Mars and Venus nearby last Friday, and +Lori Hibbett suggested, "How about Mount Whitney?" Mount Whitney is the highest peak in America's contiguous 48 states, and is has a nice, pointy summit. I checked with +The Photographer's Ephemeris, and sure enough, there were several positions we could shoot from and capture the moon and planets setting.

Shooting the actual event was just as straightforward as expected based on the predictions. As the moon and planets set in the first location closest to the mountain, we moved back to the next location and captured them setting again. The sky was getting a little dark by the third location, roughly 2 hours after sunset, so it was time to head in for dinner at that point.

#moon #moonmarsvenus #conjunction #astronomy #photography #landscapephotography www.JeffSullivanPhotography.com

 

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Look for the Moon Rise at Sunset Tonight!

It'll clear the horizon around 7:30 pm in Bodie tonight… I'm heading there now!
blog: www.MyPhotoGuides.com
#moon   #moonphotography   #astrophotography  

Moon rising over Bodie During G+ Eastern Sierra Photowalk June 2, 2012

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Tutorial on Planning Moon Photography

Moon rise, Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Moon rise, Kennedy Space Center, Florida

I’ve been enthralled with the moon since growing up watching the Apollo missions on TV, the original Cosmos TV series starring Carl Sagan, and getting a 60mm telescope.  My digital photography of the moon was underway by 2004, and digital cameras improved significantly over the following years, particularly with the release of the relatively affordable Canon 5D Mark II, with its large 35mm “full frame” sensor for excellent dynamic range and low light performance.  I went to watch the first space shuttle landing at Edwards Air Force Base, and I had a press pass for the fourth landing there.

With my passion for space and astrophotography, it was fun discussing one of my favorite subjects, moon photography, with PhotoPills app developers Rafael Pons and Germán Marquès, who joined me on the Landscape Photography Show.

Here’s the video on YouTube:
Landscape Photography Show Episode #20 Jeff Sullivan and Rafael Pons “Shooting The Moon”

Also featured on the show was photography from Chris WhitingAlan Majchrowicz, Dag Ole Nordhaug, Franka M. Gabler and David Tomek.  Take a look at their work, and follow them on G+ to see more.  Many thanks to Jim Warthman, Carra Riley, Kevin Rowe, Tom Hierl, Sheila B. DuBois for hosting the Landscape Photography Show !

December 2015 update: I’ve created a new @DSLRastronomy Twitter account to focus more on astrophotography than my regular @JeffSullPhoto Twitter account, which also covers travel and landscape photography.  I started planning moon shots with Naval Observatory tables, as I explained in a blog post back in 2006.  Later I was thrilled to use a free app on a Windows PC: Anticipating Sun and Moon Alignments.  Today I’m glad that we can carry our apps on a smartphone in our pocket.  I like having multiple apps, since they’re relatively low in cost, and you never know which one will introduce the next cool feature first.  Rather than have to reevaluate them every year, I’d rather have multiple installed, and let the new features come to me in updates.

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