Photographing the Long Night Moon - San Francisco location

There are many ways to create a great moon photograph, but a full moon is one of the most visually arresting and unique. You will learn how to balance your moon exposure with the rest of your composition and learn some secrets on how to get a big moon. I will also share my secrets on how to calculate the best locations and prepare for your own future full moon shoots.



The best time to photograph a full moon is when it is balanced against a sky approaching dusk – that is you want the moon to rise just BEFORE the sun sets. In December the best day is one day before the actual full moon.

If the weather Gods cooperate,  this month will afford us the opportunity to photograph Coit Tower with the rising full moon.

Bring your camera and a tripod. If you want to practice balancing ambient with flash, bring your strobe, a light modifier or reflector and a plan for how to trigger your flash.

Side Note: Native Americans gave names to each month’s moon. They kept track of the passage of time by observing the waxing and waning of the moon. Names were based mostly on natural occurences. In December the winter cold fastens its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest. Because the midwinter night is indeed long the Moon is above the horizon for a long time. The midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite a low Sun.

Exact meeting location will be mailed to paid YES RSVPs.


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  • Christine K.

    Though chilly we had clear skies for a beautiful full moon rise. Calculating exactly what time we'd see the moon clear Telegraph Hill and the tall trees blocking our view from Washington Square Park was a bit tricky. When it did we had had plenty of time to practice dusk and night photography and the best location for the perfect exposure.

    December 17, 2011

4 went

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