Super moon

The super moon over the San Gabriel Mountain foothills. I shot this on the Sam Merrill Trail that ascends Echo Mountain above Altadena. I used a long exposure to capture the homes at the base of the mountains. As a result, I lost detail on the moon -- but I like all the other detail in the photo, in particular the high-tension wires on the ridge at left and the lights of the San Gabriel Valley in the distance. In honor of the recent full moon -- and it was a good one -- here's a pic I took of the super moon that lit up the sky back in May. The photo was taken from the Sam Merrill Trail, which climbs Echo Mountain from the end of Lake Avenue in Altadena. 

Not perfectly exposed. Whatever. I like it for a few reasons: the interplay between wilderness and suburb in So Cal, the distant lights of the San Gabriel Valley, the high tension wires high on the mountain ridge at left and a seriously bright moon. I couldn't figure out a way to not overexpose the moon and get the rest of the scene to expose correctly, so I went with this: ISO 200, shutter speed 15 seconds, f/13, 24mm on my 18-55mm lens that came with my Nikon 5100. I used a tripod and shutter release. 

Here's another taken the same night with my 200mm telephoto lens that came with the camera (in other words, a cheap-o but effective Nikon lens): shutter speed 1/125th, ISO 200, f/11. It's easy to over-expose the moon so play around with your manual settings in order to preserve the detail.

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--S.H.

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