A Supermoon Photography Lesson - DawnitaHall

A Supermoon Photography Lesson

14 November 2016

You know all those awesome moon shots everyone has been posting on social media? The ones that show all the details of the moon, maybe with a beautiful reflection of it on water or rising next to an amazing piece of architecture. Yeah, I didn’t get one of those. I did get about 329 no-see-um bites on my ankles. Does that count?


No, seriously. I did go out to Folly Beach with my photography friend, Joan. A couple dozen people came to the same beach as us. Some where photographers; most were eager spectators. In the hour before the moonrise, the topic of conversation focused on pinpointing exactly where the moon would rise? My friend and I had out my compass and we were using it to aim our cameras in the right direction. Around us people set up their camp chairs so they would have a front row seat from which to ooooo and ahhhhhh this amazing event. We watched the sunset colors dance across the waves as the tide came in. Saw the dolphins playing in the water. We listened to the waves serenading us their musical rendition of “You Must Go To the Bathroom.” We laughed. We joked. We talked. It was one of those moments of instant community. Then the cry was heard from one of the photographers, “There it is!” as the moon peaked over the band of smoke that had settled on the horizon from the North Carolina forest fires. Instantly, everyone turned their attention to documenting the event with photography and their eyes.


So why did I never get the picture of the Supermoon? Actually, I did get a few pictures, but none of them convey the majesty and amazingness of God’s creation so I won’t be posting them. I like to post pictures that actually capture the “Wow, God!” factor. We spent about about an hour and a half after the moon rise taking pictures of different things. Many people had already left the beach. A few more had arrived. It was just as we were about to leave that I finally got my picture for the night and it doesn’t even have the moon in it.


My picture for the night is the one you see above of the Morris Island Lighthouse with the rocks in the foreground. Except for the manmade lights in the distance, the lighting in the picture is all from the moonlight. (For my photography friends ISO 320, 48mm, f/8, just under 2 minute exposure) Here is what I like about this picture. I like the placement of everything in the picture. I like how the moonlight is playing across the rocks. I also think there is something that this picture reminds us about God’s glory. It is not uncommon to see people arrange to be available to see God’s glory when we know it is going to be a surefire, spectacular event. We show up ready to ooooo and ahhhhh and be amazed. We tell our friends about it before and after the event. We celebrate during the event much like all of us on the beach were doing as the Supermoon rose above the horizon. However, we often walk away from the event thinking the show is over and it is time to get back to life. Sure, we still treasure the moment in our hearts and minds, but it becomes a past event--a milestone in the timeline of our life. This picture reminds us that if we will take a moment to look, we will find that God’s amazing glory is still being reflected all around us, even in the dark moments. King David summed it up perfectly when he wrote this verse in one of his songs of praise to God so I will close with his words.


I can never escape from your Spirit!  

     I can never get away from your presence! 

If I go up to heaven, You are there; 

     if I go down to the grave, You are there. 

If I ride the wings of the morning,  

     if I dwell by the farthest oceans, 

even there Your hand will guide me, 

     and Your strength will support me. 

I could ask the darkness to hide me  

     and the light around me to become night

-- but even in the darkness I cannot hide from You. 

     To You the night shines as bright as the day. 

     Darkness and light are the same to You. 

                                                --Psalm 139:7-12 


Look around you. Where do you see evidence of God's glory reflecting, even in the dark places?


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