When the Full moon is seen close to the horizon, it can look magnificent – especially when there’s trees, or mountains, or buildings to give it context. The Moon can look huge, thanks to the well documented Moon Illusion.
Unfortunately it’s difficult to capture the same “feeling” of the massive moon in a photograph; normally when you photograph it, it looks tiny – nothing like what it seemed with the naked eye. However with a long enough focal length, and the right foreground interest that you can also throw into focus, you can attempt to capture that “moon illusion” and re-live that impression of a huge Moon.
The images above and then below show the difference – the first image was taken at 300mm focal length and the second at 150mm focal length. The two below were taken at 105mm focal length. To my eye at the time, the Moon looked the same size in all of them – HUGE! But the two below just don’t show the same feeling of a massive Moon and the moon illusion.
The last image shows Natural Light being partially eclipsed by Artificial Light, and has a post all of its own: Artificial Light Partially Eclipses Natural Light.
These images were taken on the morning of the 18th May 2011 when the Full Moon was setting in the West, and are part of the Sydney at Dawn series, where I feature some pre-dawn and dawn images captured during the month of May 2011.
I used the great Photographers Ephimeris iPhone app to plan where the Moon would be setting and the Sun would be rising in relation to the bridge and the city. A must-have for all photographers!
Captured with a Canon 40D. Processed in Lightroom and Photoshop.
- Image 1: 75-300mm lens @300mm, f/9, ISO320, 1/320s exposure
- Image 2: 75-300mm lens @150mm, f/9, ISO320, 1/320s exposure
- Images 3 and 4: 24-105mm lens @105mm, f/9.0, 1/20s exposure.