Blue moon photography

Trees under moonlight

On the last night of 2009 we had a full moon, the second of December thus making it a blue moon.  It was a great opportunity to take pictures under a different light, calling to memory the old Christmas story,  “The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.”  If you haven’t gotten your tripod out and worked on photography under the light of the full moon shining on a white plain of snow, you haven’t fully pushed your photography to new frontiers.

The light from the moon, being reflected from the sun, is basically daylight – it’s just at a lower luminance.  Exposures will be longer but the color balance will be pretty similar.  Since the sky isn’t glowing with sunlight, you get a richer, deeper blue when there are no clouds.  Meanwhile, the shadows on the snow are so clear, defining their subject nicely.


If you’re lucky (or smart) enough to get out just as the sun is setting, you can get pictures of the moon rising while there is still some remnant of sunlight on the ground.

Moonrise at sunset


One thought on “Blue moon photography

  1. Love the one with the shadow in the snow, very nice.
    We had an orange moon on new years day which was beautiful but I was in town shooting twilight shots of Christmas lights and by the time the moon came up the lovely blue light had gone. There’s always next year.


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