I knew the full Moon for Decembers “cold Moon” was Wednesday 7th December but the position where I would stand with my camera it would not align up with Rivington Pike.
The beauty about the full Moon, either side of the official full Moon day you can capture about 98% lit. Giving an almost full Moon and to be honest it’s very hard to distinguish between the day before and the day after the full Moon.
A week before the full Moon I setup my app PhotoPills “Photopills is a powerful app combining the sun and moon position prediction, location shoot planning and instant calculators for exposure, depth of field, time lapse sequences and much more” I started to plan a location that would be accessible to capture the December 2022 cold Moon rising over Rivington Pike, finding an entrance just before a field in Blackrod gave me an exact stand position.
Calculating the height of Rivington Pike which is about 20ft I knew the Moon would rise from that side of the horizon about 15:19.
I setup my tripod, camera and my 600mm then dialed in the correct exposure, shutter speed and ISO. Taking a few test photos is important as I like to make sure the focus is pin sharp.
Approximately 15:10 the clouds were almost invisible, I noticed a male figure approaching the bench on his own where he sat down and watched the world go by. This person not knowing that the Moon would go right over him and would look huge as I am 2.6 mile away from Rivington Pike, I was hoping this person would just stay there until I finished my sequence of photos.
I often get asked how is the Moon so big and how did you know it would be there at that exact time, planning is a big part of Moon photography using apps such as PhotoPills and understanding the Moon phases helps a lot. How come it’s so big – the best way I can describe is if you have some binoculars and you are 3 mile away from Rivington Pike the magnification of the lenses brings the pike closer – now imagine the full Moon rising or setting that would be big too having the Moon snapped over a landmark such as Rivington Pike at only 20ft would just look like this 2.6 mile away, no Photoshop editing it’s 1 single exposure from the camera.
Using my sturdy tripods and a 600mm lens from 2.6 miles away once cropped in this is the outcome.. The telephoto lens makes the moon fill most of the frame. Rivington Pike from 2 miles away looks tiny compared to the moon so when you zoom in like this is what you get. Its called compression
I have done lots of Moonrises and Moonsets but this one was special in a few ways, it’s the last full Moon of the year, the weather had planned clear skies and the most special touch was the male figure sat on the bench.
As normal I posted my photo on social media and contacted Lancs Live and Lancashire Evening Post (LEP). Lancs Live kindly put up a story on their main feeds showing my photo which has now had over 8500 likes, 1000 comments and 1500 shares almost went viral in the community.
Lancashire Evening Post (LEP) created a story on their social media and also printed the photo and the story in the evening newspaper. The Sun, Daily Mail also printed the photo and was also online with The Times.
It was also tweeted throughout Twitter from all professions.
On Saturday 10th December I received a message on my Facebook page saying I think I am the person who you are looking for. WOW! I may have found this person. I needed to check this person out and only I knew what clothing he was wearing and what you cannot see on social media I knew the person was wearing a black cap.
The photo was also featured and verified in The Sun, The Mail and The Times
Also published on Lancs Live 9000 likes, 1000 comments, 150 shares Lancs Live