The Moon Cannot Hide

The Moon Cannot Hide

Inside the Photo

I owe this photo to a tweet that got me outside last night with my camera

I learned in the process that a June full moon is known as a Strawberry Moon (not for the color but for the timing about when the fruits should be ripe), and even more special in 2016 since it coincides with the solstice. And what could be more perfect than experiencing this in my home town of Strawberry, Arizona!

Everything could not be more right.. except I took my photos the night before! And I did get a spectacular full shot (one of several)

These were done on my Canon 7D with a lens I do not use all that much, the Canon 300mm IS. Getting this prime lens is another story (a forgotten mortgage interest deduction added after tax filings in 2008 got me a windfall…).

Photographing the moon is unexpectedly tricky on exposure, you gotta go manual. The intense brightness of the moon (reflecting of course right from the sun) will cause all your autoexposure camera to blast out overexpose the moon. You have to use almost a daylight exposure setting, like 1/125s shutter release and maybe f/8 (depending on lens and ISO of course).

I did all my moon shots handheld (meaning keeping the shutter at 1/250s) and fiddled with the aperture. This shot above was one of my earlier in the evening shots, when the moon was just popping over the mountains across the valley, and mostly my view was through the trees. I thought maybe a focus on the tree branch might do something interesting.

This image was maybe one of three through the same young pine, this one best because the full round shape of the moon could be seen behind the tree, as if it was trying to hide. Maybe some tighter focus on the branch would have helped. But it worked out well as you can see the texture of the pine needles.

Almost 24 hours later, the notifications from the flickr app started blinging up my mobile phone, and sure enough, this photo had been invited to the in explore group meaning lots of likes and views. This one is the 9th one of mine added to the in explore group. This is doubly sweet since my last one selected for in explore was less than a month ago.

And with the unexpected bit of the invite, this one makes me curious even more. I liked the photo, but dod not think of it as best work of mine, but hey, what do I know?

It’s totally excited with this happens. Thanks explore people!

Photo Metadata

  • Caption: Tonight's special Strawberry Moon- full moon the night of summer solstice- last time it happened was 70 years ago.
  • When: Jun 19, 2016 08:00:16 pm
  • Camera: Canon EOS 7D
  • Focal Length: 300mm
  • ISO: 2500
  • Aperture: f/4
  • Shutter Speed: 1/125sec
  • Rights : This photo by Alan Levine is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (