San Diego - Moonrise Panorama
Taken from Coronado Island.
I have to admit this is one of my favorite photos. In my living room, I have a 24"x72" canvas print framed. If you want an amazing image in your home, this is the one to get! But enough of the self promotion of my photos...
Photo Tip - Relative Size of the Moon
Occasionally I will see a photo of the moon in which it is huge, I mean unbelievably HUGE. If you Google "moonrise images" you will see many that fall into that category. Most of these images are the result of artistic license while using Photoshop. However, that does not mean it is impossible to get an image in which the moon is so big it dwarfs the foreground.
When taking photos of the moon, it is always the same size. It looks larger when it is rising or setting primarily because you have a foreground reference point and your mind understands the size of those objects. The further you are away from the foreground objects (cityscape, trees, people, animals, buildings) the smaller the objects look while the moon stays the same size.
To capture a huge moon photo, get as far away from the foreground as reasonable and use a super-telephoto lens, 500 mm or larger. For example, I went to Harbor View Drive to get the moonrise against the cityscape and the mountains behind it.
That location is about 5 miles away from the city front; whereas, this Moonrise Panorama above was taken about 2 miles away.
I was all set to take an incredible photo. The sun was setting and the moon was about to rise. Then to my horror, as the moon rose it was so big it dwarfed the entire scene. It was unbelievably HUGE. I decided to abort the process because I was confident everyone who saw it would say, "You must have Photoshopped that moon into that photo." Not only that, the composition was not balanced.
My experience says that the best composition of the moon relative to the foreground is to be between 2 and 3 miles away from the foreground and use a telephoto lens between 100-300 mm.
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