Swiss photographer, Philipp Schmidli, got it into his mind that he wanted to photograph the full moon with a subject walking in front of it so to give the moon scale. He began scouting locations from the comfort of his office using Google Earth and was eventually able to settle on the perfect location after making a couple trips to are in person. What he didn’t know at the time was that his adventure in full moon photography would carry on well into the summer and evolve from an image of a friend cross country skiing through the scene into a replication of sorts of the popular film ET’s movie poster which is shown below:
After a few failed attempts to further perfect the image he captured in January, the photographer carried on his quest. After a few failed attempts in February and March due to uncooperative weather, Schmidli rounded up a friend in April to act as the subject of his photo, this time bicycling through the moon rather than skiing. When he posted April’s image to his blog, readers instantly began comparing the image to the movie poster for ET. While not his original intention, Schmidli noticed the similarities and vowed to make yet another full moon photograph, this time with the famous ET scene on his mind.
Wen August rolled around, Schmidli was ready to take a crack at getting the ET replica shot made. Since the moons exact location in the sky is ever changing, after making some slight modifications to the location in which the shoot would take place, Schmidli asked three cyclist and some assistants to make the trek to the remote location.
The 800mm zoom lens paired with the 2x teleconverter gave the photographer a combined focal length of 1600mm. In an effort to make the moon appear even larger than in his first attempts at the full moon photo, Schmidli increased the distance between the moon and the subject by 1000 meters from 300 in the January image to 1300 meters for this shoot.
Each cyclist made about 3 runs up the ramp before the moon had risen too high. Luckily Schmidli was able to get the shot in time. Using a lot of planning, preparation, and critical thinking Schmidli was able to pull off the final image without using Photoshop.
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