Moonrise migration

In a series of moonrise shots from the deck in Montana, I noticed that this one had a flock of migrating birds heading south, mostly in a group, but with a few stragglers. Cropped to 90% of full frame to remove excess sky.

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

Mark, I like this image very much, the combination of the alpenglow on the mountain and the moon is a real winner. You did not say if this was a single exposure, but assuming it is, you did an outstanding job on the processing. The dynamic range is just so nicely balanced between the shadows and highlights. There is outstanding detail in the shadowed trees, and the light on the mountain looks very rich as well. And the exposure on the moon looks perfect. You did not post technicals with shot, but what focal length did you need to achieve this shot?

While not a major element, the flock of birds helps to balance the composition. However, I think this image would work equally with or without them. To me this image more about the light, which is absolutely wonderful.

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Mark, this is a wonderful combination of warm light on the mountains and a relatively cool moon. Great detail in the trees as well. The birds are the bonus.
I suppose that this isn’t a single shot? You need a long focal length to get the moon this size, and I can see details in the moon surface as well as in the mountain slope. In general, while the moon is at real infinitely, the foreground although far away is not really in focus.

Hans, this is a single shot. The tops of those mountains are more than 5 miles (8 km) away. This was taken with a 7D2 and 100-400 @ 340 mm. There’s usually one day as the moon approaches full (you can tell by the moon’s shape that this is 2 - 3 days from full) when it rises above these mountains and the fading daylight and moon’s brightness balance well.

WOW. I love this. My kind of scene, Mark. How the moon sits just at the edge of that “alpen” glow is a mark of a masterpiece to me. The flock of bird is a pleasant surprise. This deserves to be printed big. I can stare at this for a very long time.

Outstanding image, Mark. The last bit of light on the snow capped peak is sublime and I love the detail in the moon. It’s placement is perfect as it seems to be balancing itself along the ridgeline. If I had this view from my deck I think I would be out there just about every evening. Beautifully done.

Thanks Mark, for the explanation. Really love the image.

Beautiful combination of alpenglow and the full moon. My kind of image! Processing and handling of exposure look spot on. That moon is big so I’m guessing this was taken with a 400mm?


If ever there were an image where the tiniest element had the biggest impact - this would be it. What a great image! Of course the moonrise over gorgeously lit snowy peak is fabulous all by itself, but the little touch of the migration really tops this off.

Of course when I read the title and viewing the small image, my first thought was that I was going to be looking for some migrating elk or caribou… :wink: