Moonrise over Philadelphia; July 12 2022

Moonrise over Philadelphia; July 12 2022

If this photo looks familiar, that's because it is. It was taken a few moments after the black and white version.

Shooting the moon with any detail requires a telephoto lens of over 135mm (an equivalent focal length of approximately 2500mm would cover the full frame on a 35mm camera). At telephoto focal lengths, we need to be a fair distance from the skyline to integrate the moon in the composition. At long distances, atmospheric conditions start to play a significant role in photographic quality. Another limitation is that the photograph must be taken at moonrise or moonset, when the moon is just above the horizon and not high in the sky. If we do not want a composite image, night shots are out of the question due to the great dynamic range required. Day shots generally do not have enough contrast unless certain special specific atmospheric conditions exist. Consequently, it is best to photograph the moon at sunrise or sunset. And to make sure the moon is actually over the skyline at our vantage point, we also need to be aware of the azimuth, since the point where the moon rises or sets, can vary greatly.

If all that sounded too complicated, then think of this. The next date a non-composite full moon photograph similar to the one above can be taken from the same location is July 12, 2022.
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