Parts of the following text are a repeat from my last years Snowy moon photo shoot:
Friday, January 22, 2016.
Full-moon time again. Actually a day before the full moon with about 97.7% of the moon's illumination. With just days before my 62nd birthday, this was for me the perfect Snowy Owl gift!
These moon shots take some planning ahead of time. As you will see below, it's a bit like winning a lottery, because so many factors have to come together.
Charts have to be consulted to find out date, times and direction that the moon rises. Then there is the work and chance of having both a Snowy and a moon at the same place at the same time.
You should have the setting sun facing the rising moon; in this case, it was dusk with the sun having just disappeared beyond the horizon.
You have to have the luck that the rising moon isn't covered by clouds - same with the setting sun or the dusk horizon after sunset. You don't want humidity hanging in the air, either.
You should also have the wind at your back, facing the Snowy, because if they chance to take-off, they do so into the wind (ie, facing your camera).
To make things harder after all this planning and chance, you only have 5-10 minutes to get your shoots before the moon is too high, and boy, does it rise fast! It doesn't always work, and you have to wait another year to try again :- )
And finally, because I use a 500mm lens, I can never hope to get both a relative close Snowy and the moon both in focus. It's either one or the other because of the small depth of field due to the long lens. Also, I tried to expose more for the Snowy, therefore moon landscape details were washed out.
I did take pictures of the moon on it's own, including shots with the Snowy blurred but moon behind in focus. This will permit me, if I decide to do so, to montage the focused moon behind the Snowy.
I mused with the idea of cloning away some of the branches, but decided against it. I may do so if I ever try the moon-montage version mentioned above.
By the way, there was present this golden/orangey glow on the interior circumference of the moon as seen here.
The advantage of the lens, though is that it is very luminous and has a stabilizer. When matched with the superb full-frame Canon 5D Mark III camera, great-quality low-noise photos can be acquired with minimal light.