Lunar Illumination

Recently spent some time in Beechworth in North Western Victoria following the lifting of our second COVID-19 induced lock down. Not an ideal time of the lunar cycle for Milky Way photography with the moon at its brightest, however having so few opportunities to get out this year and being in a new place, I made the most of it anyway. Probably worked out for the best anyway as the illumination provided by the near full moon meant navigating my way around unfamiliar ground much easier. Would love to get back during a new moon during Milky Way season, some really spectacular foreground compositions to be found in this region.

Halo

Recently I was lucky enough to witness one of the strongest lunar halos I can ever remember seeing. Caused by refracted moonlight off the ice crystals which make up the cirro-stratus clouds way up in the atmosphere, this massive ring of light dominated the night sky. Made all the more impressive with Jupiter and Saturn making an appearance too, was truly amazing to watch.

Coastal Moonscape

With the majority of my night photography I am looking for the clearest of dark skies. Usually this means very intentionally avoiding the moon and any sort of cloud cover where I can. I’ve been visiting family on the coast for the past few weeks and was excited to visit some of my favorite coastal spots. Knowing bad weather was due to set in for days, I took the opportunity to get out and take some shots while I had the clear skies. As usual, I scouted during the day with plans to return that night. The big drawback though was the 62% moon that was going to be present for the entire time I was out. I almost didn’t take my full kit, thinking the washed out sky was going to be too large of a degradation to do any serious photography. How wrong I was, it was so refreshing to get a different perspective on the night with the spectacular coast taking on a very different persona under the illumination of the moon.

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