Super Moon Over Colorado – March 19, 2011

The ONE time I saw the moon rising and didn’t even realize it was the moon because it was so massively huge was in the summer of 2001 or 2002. We were headed back towards Boulder after spending the day at Rocky Mountain National Park. I kept trying to figure out what the heck this big yellow-orange tent-looking thing was in the distance. After several more minutes, it rose high enough to reveal itself, and I’ve never seen anything close to that since. I thought this evening’s super moon would be my chance to see this sight again, or even better according to NASA. But of course, there had to be a layer of clouds obscuring the moon’s first moments of glory on the horizon. It was still pretty fantastic to see it rising above those clouds, but it didn’t appear larger than normal to me at that point. Maybe because my hopes were set on that glorious vision I had seen that day after the mountains.

I had researched camera settings for moon photography. To my frustration, they lied! So most of my shots were all a frenzied experiment. I used my 70-200 f/2.8 with a 2x teleconverter. Here are the two money shots (pretty low dollar at that) taken at 400mm with “8” being the magic number: ISO 800, f/8, 1/80.

Actually being there was even better. Unfortunately, no amount of post-production could bring out the electric lines and posts that framed the moon in my first few shots. It was a cool sight, and it was accompanied by the sounds of coyotes howling in the distance. For those familiar with the area, we drove out Quincy to the top of the hill past Aurora Reservoir.

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