Picture of the week

November 5, 2017

Moonrise over tufas of Mono Lake

Mono Lake Moonrise

A full moon rising above the south tufas of Mono Lake, as photographed earlier this week while passing through the area, after exiting Yosemite via Tioga Pass just prior to its closing for the season.

Mono moonrise mapTo get sufficient scale between the size of the moon and the tufas, I stood on the western shore about 1000 feet away, shooting with my 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 mk2 telephoto on a Canon 5D mark III full-frame sensor body with a focal length of about 300mm (See the insert map for the specific location). A graduated neutral density filter was used to better balance the exposure between the sky and the foreground. Some additional images captured from the same general area are shown below.  Such photo opportunities only occur for one day of each lunar cycle.  A day earlier and the sky would be too bright without enough contrast on the moon.  A day later and the contrast will be too high for the dynamic range of the camera's sensor, even with a grad ND filter.  You will note that I am close to this maximum contrast for the third image below where the moonrise is about 30 minutes old.