Rainier and Moonlight

Here’s another photo where I made extensive use of The Photographer’s Ephemeris, and my car.

The concept was I wanted to get a photo of the moon coming up illuminating Mt. Rainier. I greatly prefer to get a real shot as opposed to creating one out of a series of images. I also wanted a full moon, so I used The Photographer’s Ephemeris to determine the days the moon would be full, when it would be rising, and from what degree. I drew a line on a map and then spend about a month driving around looking for a location from which I could capture the image I wanted. When I found my location I waited and then showed up an hour or so early to set up and wait.

One thing I really enjoy about using natural lighting is that the sun and moon are very predictable. The moon came up exactly when and where I thought it would, and then I spent the next half hour or so shooting multiple images.

Post production on this one is extensive. The moon and mountain are from different exposures taken seconds apart. The lighting on Mt. Rainier has been worked over and over again (BTW – when dealing with lighting I prefer to use a couple of levels layers in Photoshop. I set one of the blend modes to screen and the other to multiply. I mask both of the layers and spend hours slicing off little bits of the layers’ opacities until I get what I want.)

The ring around the moon is almost completely constructed. There’s a little bit of ring on the original image that I greatly enhanced.

I have one of the moon coming up directly behind Pinnacle Peak, but I prefer this shot.

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