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July 14-20, 2011

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(c) 2008 Dennis Mammana/    All rights reserved.

On July 14, 2011―the date of this posting―the moon reaches its full phase, a phenomenon that occurs once (or occasionally, twice) a month.  This photo captures the beautiful glistening orb as it appears over the rugged sandstone walls of Coachwhip Canyon in Southern California's Anza-Borrego Desert. 

Many native American Indian tribes knew the full moon of July as the Buck moon.  This was a time when the new antlers of buck deer pushed out from their foreheads.  It was also a time of frequent thunderstorms,  and this full moon was also known as  the Thunder moon.  To learn more about the names given the full moon of each month, visit here.

Most people who try photos like this are disappointed by their result, because the moon appears tiny and overexposed. First off, one must use a telephoto lens to get a shot like this. Second, the exposure must be short; that for a full (or nearly full) moon is the same as for a day lit landscape on Earth. Third, one must shoot during twilight―before the sky becomes completely dark―so that the landscape and sky aren't overwhelmed by moonlight.  This usually is best a day or so before the official full moon. And finally, images like this should always be shot in "RAW" format since processing is  always necessary to bring the lighting into an appropriate balance. 

Get more valuable tips like these in my Night Sky Photography workshop this fall... follow me on Facebook or Twitter to keep up with such announcements.

   Date  / Time:  March 20, 2008 /  7:06:56 p.m. PDT
   Photo Details:  Canon 20D, Tamron 28-300 AF Aspherical XR lens at 248mm, ISO200, 1/8s  at f/8
   Processing Details:  Capture One 4.8.3, Noise Ninja 2.3.2, Photoshop CS2
   Location:  Coachwhip Canyon, Anza-Borrego Desert, Borrego Springs, California, USA


This image is
protected by copyright as defined in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty (Geneva, December 2-20, 1996).  Its use or reproduction without advanced written permission by the photographer is strictly prohibited.  For permissions and fees, please contact Dennis Mammana.


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(c) Dennis L. Mammana.  All rights reserved.