Sower Full Moon
I made this blog post to hopefully shed a little light on the fact that a lot more goes into a photo then most assume.
I originally wanted to shoot the full moon with chimney rock, I spent a few days planning out that shot and organizing where I could rent a good telephoto lens from. I knew I wanted the Sigma 150-600 and luckily was able to rent it as well as a Canon 2x extender from my local camera shop for the weekend.
The plan was to leave Omaha Sunday morning, get to Chimney Rock and scout out locations to shoot from for the full moonrise. Saturday night I took the lens out to test how much distance I would need to be away from an object to maximize the size of the moon but also keep the composition with the object in the foreground good. I ended up spending about an hour driving on dirt roads and the moon rose too early for a decent shot, but it gave me a good idea of how far I needed to be and what focal length I would be need depending on how big I wanted the moon.
I used the Holy Family Shrine Church as my foreground and once the moon was visible enough and high enough I was able to get a decent shot of it hovering above the building. This was shot at about 400mm and although I do love the results, I would need a lot more zoom to achieve the size of the moon I was looking for.
Sunday Morning came around and I was seeing a pretty strong possibility of clouds in West Nebraska so I constantly refreshed my weather apps until the last minute possible for me to be able to leave and drive across the state for the moonrise/sunset. Meanwhile I was also on google earth plotting a backup plan of shooting in the State Capitol building.
This time I had a good idea of how much distance I would need to be so picking a location would be slightly more accurate. I found a parking garage in downtown Lincoln that looked promising so once I decided to call off the cross state roadtrip to Chimney Rock I packed up my gear and headed to Lincoln to scout locations, eat dinner and setup my other cameras to timelapse the sunset/moonrise.
The center shot above was when I first saw the moon rising. It rises extremely fast so I knew I had to get moving.
I started off on the 6th floor of the parking garage and ended up running down the stair well to the 4th floor and then back to the 5th where I was able to imagine the path of the moon going directly behind the sower statue. Constantly moving 2-4 feet at a time left or right while adjusting my tripod, camera settings and trying to find the composition I finally saw found the sweet spot. I took one photo to be sure the settings focus was good, sat for about 3 seconds until the moon sat perfectly behind the sower and snapped the next shot. I couldn't stop there though, I continued to shoot different angles and compositions just in case. In the end I found a composition I am a big fan of with the moon a bit higher but centered with the sower.
Once the moon was high enough, I was finally able to relax and was pleased to see that the timelapses I had going were doing quite well.
If you made it this far I applaud and thank you for your genuine interest.
Also a huge thanks to PhotoPills and their amazing app for planning photography shots like this and Rockbrook Camera for the lens rental.