Shooting the Super Moon in Hawaii


Aloha! Yesterday was a long day – 28 hours in fact. That’s what happens when you hop on an airplane in Salt Lake City and head west, all the way to the Hawaiian island of Maui. When we arrived at our hotel, it was only 9:20 pm (Maui time). To us Utahns, it felt like 1:20 a.m. the following day. We were exhausted.

But with the Super Moon in the sky, the palm trees and foliage surrounding me, and my camera in hand, I put my wife to bed and headed out to grab some photos of the Super Moon.

050412 SuperMoon_Hawaii

Canon 60D | 18-135mm lens | 1/60 | f/22 | ISO 800 | Speedlite 430EX II Flash

The first few photos I snapped had too much glare and reflection in the lens itself, so I added my 67mm circular polarized filter to my lens before shooting any more. That helped immensely.

I didn’t want to bother with the tripod, so that created a few challenges as well. I was hoping to get some bracketed photos I could use for some HDR processing later, but I couldn’t hold the camera still enough, and the stark contrast between the brightness of the moon in the distance and the unlit foliage in the foreground, it just wasn’t happening. The palm trees were way too tall for my flash to light them up enough, so I found this other type of tree to use in the photo.

I did end up switching to manual mode for these photos, which offered me a lot more control of what I wanted to see in the photo. The details of the moon and the foliage. When I first shot this scene, my aperture was f/5.6, which made the tree really out of focus. While I liked that effect, I opted to use the one with the tree in focus instead. It just allowed more detail, without detracting from the Super Moon itself.

Regardless, it was a fun, though frustrating, image to capture, but I am pleased with the final results. I did end up doing a little Levels adjustments in Photoshop to help brighten up some of the areas that were a little dark, and I think shooting in RAW would have allowed me to produce a better photo, but again, I am pleased with how this one turned out.

Many more photos to come, I’m sure of it!

~signed, Carltonaut

7 thoughts on “Shooting the Super Moon in Hawaii

    • My wife isn’t too keen on me spending so much time with Photography on our trip, but she tires easily, so I take photos and edit as needed while she is resting. It’s a fine line to balance, though. 🙂

  1. Thank you for seizing the opportunity – this time frame – for this beautiful Moon photo with the flowers. Because the sky was cloudy here in Central Europe yesterday evening, it is the first picture of this Super Moon I’ve seen.

      • Where in France? I lived in Montpellier for three months, then spent 3 months in Menton (near Monaco) and 14 months in Marseille/Aubagne. J’aime la France!

      • I live in a small village about half an hours drive north from the nearest big town Tarbes, we are about an hours drive from the highest point in the Pryenees. I know Menton, I spent a few days there a few years ago visiting friends who were on Holiday there. I visited Marseille too at the same period whilst doing a french course in Aix en Provence.

    • Sorry the sky was cloudy for you. That’s crummy. There are a bunch of photos of the Super Moon out there, so hopefully you’ll get to see it from around the world.

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