Full moon over the Coronado Bridge

Full moon over the Coronado Bridge | San Diego, CA

Last week, while I was out on Coronado at the Ferry Landing, I caught something awesome and unexpected – the full moon rising over the Coronado Bridge! It was bright orange and huge!  I haven’t had a lot of practice shooting the moon, but what I do know is:

  • The moon is VERY bright
  • The moon moves

I also know that:

  • Our eyes can take in about 13 f-stops of light (i.e. detail in the shadow and light areas)
  • A modern digital camera can only take in about 6 f-stops

What this means for capturing an awesome photo of the moon:

  • Most cameras can’t capture the detail in the moon AND in the landscape at the same time.
  • Most remarkable moon photos are composites of two or more exposures

Knowing these facts I made sure I caught an exposure where the moon looked awesome – properly exposed to show the detail and minimize movement, and another exposure for my background. I then took these images into Adobe Photoshop CS6 as layers, selected the moon from one layer, and placed it on the other.

Frames used to composite the moon

The images above were captured with my Induro AKB1 Tripod mounted Canon EOS 7D and Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens using a cable release to trigger the shutter. Processing was done in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 and Adobe Photoshop CS6.

This is my first (somewhat) successful attempt with this technique and I think it is pretty convincing. The scene is nearly exactly how I remember seeing it with my naked eye.

Full moon over the Coronado Bridge | San Diego, CA

While I was out there shooting these images I met a few very nice people who were interested in how my photos were coming out. I gave them business cards so I hope they’ll stop by and check out this post.

If you’d like to learn more about how I made this image please let me know if the comments.

I hope you all have had a lovely, restful weekend. Cheers to the week ahead!

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  1. […] this week I shared a photo of the full moon, shot from the Ferry Landing on Coronado (see that post here). I wasn’t there to shoot the moon, but it certainly was a happy surprise! I was there to […]

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