Setting Moon over the Rockies

I caught this setting moon over the Rockies in Rocky Mountain National Park this past November. Balancing the Moon and the foreground, I exposed to the Moon, which means I had to reduce the shadows quite a bit to illuminate the foreground.

Specific Feedback Requested

Comments on the PP and suggestions for other ways to capture / postprocess this image.

Technical Details

1/25 sec f/8 ISO 400 70-200mm f/2.8 2x teleconverter

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Really nice work on this scene, Gary. The darker landscape area seems just about right to me so far as the amount of overall light… :sunglasses:

Thanks for your comments.

Very nice composition and great contrast between the warm yellow color of the moon and the cool color of the mountains. What time of day was this taken? I’m still very much learning the art of nightscapes but I typically find that exposing for the moon leaves everything else quite dark unless there is some ambient light from the moon and/or sun. Just curious since you mentioned you had to reduce the shadows to illuminate the foreground. To my eye the overall exposure is just right.

Thank you for your comments. The image was taken as the very last light of the day disappeared on the other side of the mountains. Since it was only a sliver of the moon, I was able to capture the scene in one shot (Actually one of several single shots of varying exposures). In post processing , I targeted only the foreground, reducing the shadows and blacks ever so slightly. I have struggled with larger, brighter moons in the past and with a bright moon, I find I need to take two images in quick succession and blend in Photoshop.

This is very nice and I like it a lot. The moon is in perfect position in relation to the mountain and I like that the detail in the mountain is clearly visible while looking natural.

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That is about as perfect as you can get, Gary. The amount of light on the mountains with the exposure of the moon right on. It is a keeper for sure.


Lovely scene! You had great air quality to get such a clear moon that close to the horizon. You got nice detail on the landscape, both focus and exposure.

A good situation for an exposure bracket if your camera has it.

Gracias. Yes , my camera does have bracketing, but in this case, I shot about 10 different exposures in rapid succession as the moon set quickly. Just plain did not think of bracketing…