Shooting the Supermoon

The rising of the Pink Supermoon last week was an ideal occasion to test the sharpness of my new Sony a2rIV camera and the 200-600 mm Sony lens. The reach and exceptional clarity of this high tech team made me a believer!

The most effective way to photograph the night sky is with a DSLR camera in manual mode, mounted on a tripod and exposed for the moon. The purpose of using a 600 mm lens (as opposed to a 200 mm or a 50 mm lens) is that the far distant object, in this case the moon, will appear far larger in your frame. The purpose of expensive, high quality glass (lens) is clarity of its focus. In addition to choosing the appropriate camera and lens, you will also benefit from the know-how to shoot in RAW mode and process in Photoshop, Lightroom and Luminar. I share with you the results of bringing all these methods to bear on our opportunity.

#supermoon, #moonrise, #sony, #luminar, #sonyalpha, #reallyrightstuff, #naturephotography, #sky, #outdoorphotography, #florida, #naplesflorida
Pink Supermoon rising, just clearing the palm trees in Naples Florida. April 2020
#supermoon, #moonrise, #moon, #sonyalpha, #reallyrightstuff, #luminar, #howto, #nightsky, #sky, #nature, #naturephotography, #naplesflorida, #florida, #palms, #detail
Pink Supermoon rises higher in the darkening sky. Zoom in to see the detail in the moon’s surface.

Celebrate Pittsburgh with its Skyline

Today is a perfect day to celebrate Pittsburgh and its spirited people, as the Steelers enter a playoff game where most fans have serious doubts about a positive outcome. The Steeler Nation is still behind the team — either in person or via television all over the world. Today’s game might well be the last game of the Steeler season, which is a big deal in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh has a pretty fabulous skyline, thanks to the geography of the Three Rivers, at least two successful Renaissance transformations and a currently vibrant local economy. And Pittsburghers never get enough of that skyline.

As a gift to the ever positive people of Pittsburgh, I bring you some summer night skyline images from the North Shore on a special evening when I expected the full moon to rise over the Golden Triangle. The moon rose on cue, of course, but clouds hid the moon from me for all but about 5 minutes that evening. Patience paid off. In this first image, you can see the Fort Duquesne Bridge on the left and the Fort Pitt Bridge on the right. Lots of history here (at Fort Pitt at the Point), dating back to George Washington and the Revolutionary War.

To capture the high dynamic range, I fused three images together.
To capture the high dynamic range, I fused three images together.

Here is a closer view of the fountain at Point State Park where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers form the Ohio River. The full moon features more prominently.

The Point at Pittsburgh, PA
The Point at Pittsburgh, PA

Lastly, let’s take a turn with creativity. A ten-second exposure captures enough light to make the sky appear blue, and I’ve dropped in a larger moon, taken that night from another exposure when I zoomed the lens in to 200mm. The moon wasn’t this big in relation to the buildings, but the moon was the reason I waited alone on the wharf for 90 minutes, so I personally like to see it big! I think it is AOK to play with the moon size, as long as the photographer is honest about it.  Journalists can’t do this, but I am wearing my artist hat now. As an artist, I would also only play with elements captured that evening. I might be creative, but not crazy with my choices.

Artistic rendition of the moon rise with larger moon added in post processing.
Artistic rendition of the moon rise with larger moon added in post processing.

Which photo do you like best? These images can be produced in high resolution  as large prints. Contact me via email at