Behind the Scenes | "Shoot the Moon" | Article and 2 Photos by Stephen Fisher

Full moons have been fascinating human beings forever. Our moon is the closest celestial body to planet Earth. Since it’s only 238,900 miles away from us, a full moon can look HUGE in the sky. The moon orbits Earth every 27 days…much to the pleasure of photographers. We all love to see a full moon!

Photographing the full moon is easy. Photographing the full moon well is not! No…it’s not that you’re not a good photographer. It’s a combination of a lot of different factors. Here are some tips;

1. Unless you have a telephoto or zoom lens available, don’t try to make “portrait” of the moon. Instead, try to use the moon as a compositional element of a landscape or cityscape. Maybe use a tree or building to tell the story of the moonrise. We all know what the moon looks like. So make it be a supporting part of your photographic story. And yes, a smart phone or “point and shoot” camera works just fine!

2. Another challenge is getting your exposure right. The moon is so much brighter than anything else in the sky. After all…it’s nighttime! If you try to properly expose for the moon, everything else in the scene will be underexposed. If you try to expose for the rest of the scene, the moon will be overexposed…just a bright blob in your photo! The fix here is to shoot in a well-lit scene. That’s hard at night. Try shooting close to downtown instead of an isolated dark spot. The ambient light will help balance your photo.

3. Have fun! Part of the excitement of a full moon is just seeing it. If you happen to get a nice photo to memorialize this phenomenon…GREAT. If you don’t get one this time, just wait. You’ll have another opportunity in less than a month.

As always, I'd love to help you with your photography questions. I'd also love to see some of your photos of the moon. Feel free to post them here.

Stephen Fisher and his wife Sharon have lived in Rockport for almost 5 years. Stephen Is a full time nature photographer with gallery representations here in Rockport and in Corpus Christi. Their favorite question is “What took us so long to get here to Rockport?”

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