Interesting Photo of the Day: Full Moon Rising Behind Chicago

Peter Dykstra knew the full moon was rising on September 27—he was tweeting about it before it even happened. At the ready with his Canon 7D, he snapped this gorgeously balanced shot:

chicago skyline

(Via Imgur. Click image to see full size.)

Dykstra isn’t a professional photographer—at least not by trade—but he clearly understands the craft, not to mention social media. He posted the image to Twitter, along with a work-in-progress sample of a lesser, untreated shot that missed the train rolling through, which provides an interesting glimpse into his process:

Later, on Reddit, he explained his technical settings in detail for a curious photographer who asked how he captured the moon in detail, rather than as an overexposed ball of light:

“Having a zoom of 85mm+ seems to me to be about the minimum for getting much surface detail. Setting the exposure settings correctly is the important part—when the full moon is just rising, there’s still light in the atmosphere from the sun setting. This helps keep the exposure differences between the buildings and the moon as close as possible (although still requires some light level adjustments to bring it closer). As soon as the sun is completely set and it’s bright moon vs. dark surroundings, you’re pretty much only going to expose one of those two things correctly.”

Attached to his 7D was a Canon EF 28-135mm lens. The camera was set to 1/50 of a second, f/5.6, and ISO 200.

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One response to “Interesting Photo of the Day: Full Moon Rising Behind Chicago”

  1. Joe T says:

    I’ve shot the moon before at f/5.6 and ISO 200 but at 1/100s-1/200s. Any slower I would lose detail from being too bright… So the settings in the article peaked my curiosity. I looked for other clues such as the train’s lights which appeared overexposed… This made sense for the stated camera setting. I would think the train’s lights to be about same brightness as moon based on where train was located. In looking closer at the light reflection off the rails, I begin to suspect this image is a composite of at least two images shot at different exposures… All that said, I like the image and the train does add interest.

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