"Beaver Super Moon" – The second to last super moon of the calendar year.

For the third time this year, my friend and creative partner Rami, and I took to the road chasing down the elusive super moon. Our journey began with a considerable road trip from Akron, Oh, to a destination heavily researched, but fairly unknown – West Virginia. The weather outlook was for lack of a better term – stellar. With nary a cloud in the sky, brisk temperatures, and little breeze, conditions for astro photography were perfect.

Modern technology provides the common casual lover of celestial bodies finger tip access to photographic planning via personal communication devices. The paradox of this trip, however, was that we'd be working within a region were no cell service exists due to interference with the carefully calibrated radio telescope and other listening devices. So, calibration on arrival was speculative at best. It didn't take long for the joys of being disconnected, the electronic leash removed to be fully realized, and the sublime stillness of the heavens to take over.

Please feel free to comment, and reach out to me with any question. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did making them.

As always, thanks for looking!

Click any image to enlarge.


Destination 1, 11/13 for Perigee:  Near Cass Road, Cass, WV.

Beaver Moon

The rising super moon in Perigee – it's closest distance to the Earth.

You're not seeing double, don't worry. Both images depict the usage of very different lenses: At left, a reflex lens that uses curved mirrors to refract and reflect light in order to capture imagery; and at right, a telephoto lens.

 The "Beaver Super Moon" photographed using a 600mm f8 manual focus Sigma Reflex Catadioptric  Lens.  ISO200 f8 1/500

The "Beaver Super Moon" photographed using a 600mm f8 manual focus Sigma Reflex Catadioptric  Lens.

ISO200 f8 1/500

  The "Beaver Super Moon" photographed using a 300mm Nikkor f2.8 EDIF !!,  fitted with a 2x teleconverter.     ISO1600 f11 1/500

The "Beaver Super Moon" photographed using a 300mm Nikkor f2.8 EDIF !!,  fitted with a 2x teleconverter.

ISO1600 f11 1/500


Destination 2, 11/13 -14 for astro photography between rise and set:  Spruce Knob, Riverton, West Virginia.

A field of rocks, diverse flora, and stars forever can be seen atop Spruce Knob.

Spruce Knob Observation Tower, as expressed in a star trail photograph.

This was my very first attempt at the technique. I learned a ton in the process, and consequently opened so many potential new ideas. Note the bright white streaked orb is actually the moon. All other light sources depicted are generated from our headlamps while working

The observation tower itself is situation 4,863 feet above sea level - the highest peak in West Virginia, and provides a most excellent unobstructed 360 degree panoramic view.


Destination 3, 11/14 for moon set:  The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, West Virginia.

The Green Bank Radio Telescope, approximately three hours before moonset observable from our position.

The setting Beaver Moon.

My absolute favorite image from the expedition.

As anyone who has attempted photographing the moon is keenly aware, achieving a balance of exposure between the moon, foreground, background, or any other disparate object(s) is without a doubt – challenging. I'm not a huge fan of stacking images in Photoshop, or any other program to achieve a "perfect" moon exposure. Rather, when the opportunity presents itself after careful planning, simply make a good picture.

Sunrise concluded our journey chasing the super moon from rise to set.