Moonscapes …

Many of my favorite pictures were made after sunset or before sunrise. Vivid twilight colours can really make a picture pop! But an extra element to make a picture ‘unique’, that is often overlooked, is to include the Moon. It can be difficult to capture a full moon, as you only have a couple of days each month in which to do so. Given the Irish weather, cloudy skies for most of the year means you can count on one hand the amount of times a full moon presents itself for a photograph. The moon has always had an important cultural influence on us and, among other effects, its gravitational influence produces the ocean tides. It also produces an optical illusion while close to the horizon where it looks larger than it actually is to the naked eye. However, the camera always takes a true picture of its size and negates this effect.

Moonset over the Cooley mountains

Pictures of dramatic landscapes can be made with a rising full moon at sunset or setting moon at sunrise. At these times the moon is low in the sky and the scene is lit by the soft warm light of a sun low in the opposite sky. Sometimes, a powerful image can be created.

Remember, the moon is a moving target so your shutter speed should be set as fast as you can, depending of course on the effect you are after and whether you want detail in the moon to show through or not.

Moonrise over Clogherhead

The best times to shoot a scene with a rising moon is around sunset on the day before full moon. And for a scene with a setting moon, it is best to shoot around sunrise on the day after it is full. You can get the moon set/rise times from a number of different websites, just google moonrise/set and you have a variety of websites to choose from. Hope you enjoy….:)


Moonset over the Wicklow mountains