Moonrise shot in the next couple of days. What day?

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lost alaskan
lost alaskan Veteran Member • Posts: 3,008
Moonrise shot in the next couple of days. What day?

I want to get some pictures of the moon in a day or two. Right off, I'm not after the full moon. That takes place at midnight and I don't care. I would like to get the moon during a period with some light.

I see the MR is (at my position) at 6:12 on the 17th with SS @ 6:34 and Civil TL ending at 7:00. Or would the 18th be a better choice; MR @ 7:16 and SS a little before @ 6:35 and CTL ending at 7:00 and some Nautical TL.  Or is that too dark for the landscape?

The idea is to get a great moonrise with some light on the hills I have picked out. It's a hundred miles round trip so only one day.

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CatchingTime
CatchingTime Regular Member • Posts: 224
Re: Moonrise shot in the next couple of days. What day?

Not sure what you mean by the full moon occurring at midnight.

The only good part about a full moon (in my opinion) is that it tends to occur when there is still light in the sky, e.g. it is usually rising when the sun is setting (roughly). That being said, crescent moons are also great for imaging during sunset (or sunrise, if you're apt to be awake at such hours). In between those two it's pretty boring (light in sky-wise).

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Bob in Baltimore
Bob in Baltimore Senior Member • Posts: 1,188
Re: Moonrise shot in the next couple of days. What day?
1

lost alaskan wrote:

I want to get some pictures of the moon in a day or two. Right off, I'm not after the full moon. That takes place at midnight and I don't care. I would like to get the moon during a period with some light.

I see the MR is (at my position) at 6:12 on the 17th with SS @ 6:34 and Civil TL ending at 7:00. Or would the 18th be a better choice; MR @ 7:16 and SS a little before @ 6:35 and CTL ending at 7:00 and some Nautical TL. Or is that too dark for the landscape?

The idea is to get a great moonrise with some light on the hills I have picked out. It's a hundred miles round trip so only one day.

Shooting the rising Moon around sunset is a tricky business. In the critical period from the Moon peeping above the horizon to the end of Civil twilight on the 17th the Moon will probably increase in brightness by 2 or 3 f-stops while the surrounding landscape declines 3 to 5 stops. (I have measurements and calculations, but have forgotten just where they are and it is too late to chase them down!) And it is weather dependent. Hazy skies will brighten the sky and reduce the Moon's contrast to varying degrees of visibility. The lighting on the landscape depends on cloud on the facing hemisphere!

Here are some pix of the Moon rising over the Washington skyline. It has the advantage of artificial illumination brining up the landscape brightness. But you can get some feel for the rapid variations from my captions.

https://www.scientiaphoto.com/The-Moon-in-the-Landscape/Monumental-Moon-Feb-25-2013/i-VkT8kh3

Here are some other Moonrise shots, mostly taken 15 to 30 minutes after sunset and before the end of Civil Twilight. Sorry, they are not annotated here with time and exposure. But that is the best window ... and is exactly what you don't have.

https://www.scientiaphoto.com/HawaiianLandscapes/Moonrise-in-Hawaii/i-fZ35sHB

I wrote an 18-page plan for the images 3, 4, & 6 involving two identical cameras with pre-planned central exposures (updated in real time by pixel peeping) and ±5 stop bracketing. We were unable to synch the shutters well enough to use most of the candidate shots, but one of the images is a 2-camera HDR image.

You don't want to go to that much trouble.

So, the simple advice is, shoot both nights, and see what you can learn. (Two 100 mile trips? But hey, you are in Alaska!) Neither event is particularly good. Best results are likely to be when the Sun sets 15 minutes or so before Moon rise. But it depends on how high the Moon is for a good composition, plus all the other environmental condition.

Bracket your exposure plus/minus 1, 2,3 and 4 stops. (The "film " is free. You never would have done this with slide film!) You can often rely on the meter reading on the Moon to pick the central exposure value, but be mindful that it is very easy to overexpose the moon in the red when it is very low. Also shoot some bracket sets with the central value taken from the mettle reading on the landscape.

Use this to learn something, a nd then look for a better event down the road. (You do know about The Photographers Ephemeris don't you? https://app.photoephemeris.com/join )

Happy shooting!

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Bob in Baltimore

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lost alaskan
OP lost alaskan Veteran Member • Posts: 3,008
Re: Moonrise shot in the next couple of days. What day?

Hi. Thanks for the tips. I'm not in Alaska anymore. That's the "lost" part. The atmosphere in AZ today was perfect and it may remain that way for the next few days. I think I will hedge my bet by going up there on the 17th. If it is not what I want I CAN go the next day too. I would like to see what 45 minutes difference makes. I am taking notes. This close together the moon is still 99.xx percent full although I kind of prefer some crescent in other shots I've done. This is being done with basic equipment. Sony 70-200 F4. It's "sort of" practice for the lunar eclipse in May.

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Magnar W
Magnar W Veteran Member • Posts: 6,905
Here is a superb web site for moonrise calculations
1

lost alaskan wrote:

Right off, I'm not after the full moon. That takes place at midnight and I don't care.

No, the 100% full moon can take place at any hour of the day, since this is determined by the position between the sun, earth and moon.

The idea is to get a great moonrise with some light on the hills I have picked out. It's a hundred miles round trip so only one day.

Start with locations closer to your home?

Best time to take full moon pictures is at dawn or dusk, when the light from the moon balances with the light before sunrise or after sunset.

The web site timeanddate.com is a great source for finding when moonrise/setting moon at your location (position in degrees, and time for passing the horizon).

Sony A7rIII, GM 100-400 mm lens. Luckily I have great landscape for moon rise/setting moon pictures in my local area.

Sony A7rIII, GM 100-400 mm lens.

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Bob in Baltimore
Bob in Baltimore Senior Member • Posts: 1,188
Re: Moonrise shot in the next couple of days. What day?

lost alaskan wrote:

Hi. Thanks for the tips. I'm not in Alaska anymore. That's the "lost" part. The atmosphere in AZ today was perfect and it may remain that way for the next few days. I think I will hedge my bet by going up there on the 17th. If it is not what I want I CAN go the next day too. I would like to see what 45 minutes difference makes. I am taking notes. This close together the moon is still 99.xx percent full although I kind of prefer some crescent in other shots I've done. This is being done with basic equipment. Sony 70-200 F4. It's "sort of" practice for the lunar eclipse in May.

If it is practice for the May eclipse, I recommend that you stay on sight until midnight or so to see what the sky look like from your location under the conditions that will prevail during the eclipse. You have an opportunity for a great shot if you shoot at the 70 mm end of your focal range. The Moon will be rising with the heart of the galaxy nearby. An eclipsed full Moon showing all those stars around it would be quite an image. And a silhouetted mountain range in the foreground ... nirvana!

I usually think in terms of a long focal length lens for the Moon to show the details, but the starry background plus the Moon is the feature here. So get some shots in the midnight to 1 AM range at higher ISO to keep the exposure short. Here is a shot that is quite similar to what you will see from AZ this time. It was taken by a friend who lives in Hawaii and post-processed by me.

https://www.scientiaphoto.com/Aeronautics-Space/Astrophotography-2018/i-LnpZvQ9

He had no tracker, but a 3 second exposure was tolerable with an 85 mm lens. This was at ISO 800.

I hope to be in rural Virginia near the Shenandoah National Park for this next eclipse. I will have the advantage of the Moon being higher in the sky, but you will have better skies and a landscape for the foreground.

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Bob in Baltimore

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lost alaskan
OP lost alaskan Veteran Member • Posts: 3,008
Re: Moonrise shot in the next couple of days. What day?

Thanks. You have pumped up my enthusiasm for this. I intend to camp overnight so I can stay up for as long as I want.

The "full moon" is actually at 12:17 a.m. so it's pretty close to midnight.

I like the timeanddate sight. I am figuring out TPE and have found a couple other places that give monthly breakdowns of the moons movements. Once you pick your way through the mythology and astrology stuff out there.

I took this pic a few years back and it's a favorite. Phoenix is on the other side of the hill about sixty miles away. Looking west.

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User2491691251 New Member • Posts: 18
Re: Moonrise shot in the next couple of days. What day?
1

Check out the app PlanIt for Photographers. It takes a little to get into it, but it's excellent for planning moon photography. It has a virtual reality mode where you tell the app where your camera is located and what focal length of lens, and it will show you where the moon will be along with a 3D rendering of the landscape.

I have an article here that shows a little of what it can do. Scroll down a bit for the info on PlanIt.
Best Landscape Photography Apps for 2021 - MilkyWayPhotographers.com

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