Lessons from Photographing Orange Full Moons

by Sheila Finkelstein on September 26, 2011

A little over a week ago, I was driving home from a meeting. Glancing out to my right a large, orange colored moon grabbed my attention. After a quick discussion with myself I turned right, rather than my usual left, to find a parking spot where I could pull out my camera to “capture” the image.

Each time I stopped, the street, and other, lights restricted my vision.  As a result the moon was coming out the usual “white” for me. Finally I decided to continue onto the beach in Delray Beach.  After a few photos, I happily remembered my tripod was in the car, so I set it up on the sidewalk behind the bushes, choosing not to go on the dark beach alone.

It was only then that the “big” revelation came. After playing with several settings, including the night scene on my Point and Shoot Canon Power Shot SX10IS, it occurred to me to use the Flash!

Although the distance was, of course, far from the moon, it did alter everything dramatically.  I got what had been eluding me on all of my attempted moon shots over the past many months or a couple of years.

All it needed was LIGHT!  It was then that I recalled a moon shot I captured in August of 2009, very close to sunset.  It was at the beach in Boynton Beach, FL.  I much too belatedly recalled that my discovery then had been that having the light brought out the color and texture .


Using the sunset setting on my camera deepened it further and brought out, or added to, the orange. (Note – The blue in the above photo might have been a result of slight manipulation with Photoshop Elements.)

Ironically, when I started searching my photos in iPhoto, I discovered another moon photo with textures that I was very happy to catch and that was earlier this year.

This one was also taken at sunset, in February 2011.  Once again, outside light was a factor in getting the kind of full moon photo I keep chasing,

Self-Reflecting Queries

I invite you to look into your life.  Is there a place, or are there places, where you keep chasing “perfection”, where something you did was not “good enough”?

And, if you find that, what is the light you can shine on it to keep the memories and reminders there for you?

Have fun and please share your experiences with perfection, moon and/or light in the COMMENTS below.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Cheri Ruskus September 26, 2011 at 6:32 pm

As always Sheila your pictures are fantastic! I love the moon and always trying to photograph so these especially caught my eye! Thanks!


Sheila Finkelstein September 26, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Thanks so much, Cheri, for the acknowledgment and more. I’ve gotten so frustrated sometimes when I’ve seen one of the super large, deeply colored, full moons, close to their “rising” time, and all I get is a white image. The thing now for me to remember is flash AND tripod. Of course, being away from street and other lights might have made the difference also.

Please let me know if you see any different results, after this article, the next time you photograph the moon.


Marifran Korb October 3, 2011 at 11:51 am

Hi Sheila,
Perseverance paid off! Thanks for committing to the best photo and following your passion.

Also, thanks for posting this. I love photos of the moon. Each one you took is exciting to see.
Marifran Korb


Sheila Finkelstein October 6, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Thanks so much for your acknowledgment, Marifran. It always makes a difference for me AND I’m so glad the photos make a difference for you.


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