Have you ever looked up at the moon and wondered (without a calendar to help) when the next full moon will be? Have you ever wondered when the best time to take a photo of the moon is? If you have, then hopefully this short little write-up will help you.
First off, I’m going to get right down into the technical stuff. Bear with; it should all pull together and make a lot of sense at the end.
On the day of a full moon, the sun will set at approximately the same time as the moon raises (keep in mind you may need to factor in large mountains, such as I do at home). On the day before a full moon, the moon will raise about a half hour before the sun sets (on the opposite side of the horizon). This makes for some very good landscape shots, as you are able to get an exposure that shows the full moon properly exposed as well as the rest of the scene also being properly exposed. On the day after a full moon, the moon raises about a half hour after the sun sets—making for very dark landscapes but with enough light you can still expose them. Hopefully you are starting to see a pattern developing here. The same is true for mornings as well, just flipped with the evenings. Full moon, same times—the moon sets as the sun raises. Day after, the moon sets about a half hour before the moon raises, etc.
Hopefully this little bit of information will help you become a better photographer. I know that I’m now always aware of when the full moon is each month, and I try to make sure I catch that sweet light accordingly. If you have any questions or want me to clarify/fix anything, please leave a comment!
Also check out other posts on my site relating to moonlight photography by clicking this link.