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Seattle Times photographers offer a glimpse into what inspires their best visual reporting.

July 22, 2013 at 9:54 PM

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Back for a super encore


BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

The full moon Monday night lights up the top of the Space Needle and starts debates about whether it's a so-called "supermoon" like the moon on June 23, or just a good old-fashioned full moon. This moonrise, however, was not technically considered a supermoon, but it is still closer than usual to the earth, making it appear larger than normal, according to the science website www.earthsky.org. This view is from Ursula Judkins Viewpoint, part of Smith Cove Park, in Magnolia.

When I realized there would be another super full moon rising on what was supposed to be a clear night Monday, I decided to try my hand at making a photograph of it. Fellow staff photographer Mark Harrison turned me on to a program called The Photographer's Ephemeris which allowed me to chart on a map possible viewpoints to see the trajectory of the moon as it rose. I knew that it would be coming up just before 9PM with clear skies, which I thought would be a good balance of ambient daylight and moonlight. I had driven by this viewpoint in Magnolia before and thought it would be a safe bet to get the moon as it rose over any part of the skyline.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

The moon starts to rise, reddish in atmospheric haze, between buildings and over the Cascade mountains.

When it started to rise, I couldn't believe how big it was. Whoa! It was very exciting to see. At lease twenty other photographers had gathered to document it. Cars were stopping to see what the fuss was about. I tried to get some pictures of the crowd but the moon was rising so fast, I didn't want to miss it. I was shooting with a Canon 7D with a 500mm F4 lens and a 1.4 extender. The longer the lens, the larger the moon looks, so I had as much firepower as I could grab out of our gear locker. Normally I like to shoot the full-frame camera bodies like the 5D or the 1Dx but the cropped sensor made the lenses a little longer. As soon as I made the picture above, I got out my laptop and sent it in to make deadline for the front page of the paper.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

A super full moon rises over the Seattle skyline Monday, July 22, 2013. This view is from the Ursula Judkins Viewpoint, part of Smith Cove Park, in Magnolia and shot with a 100-400mm zoom lens on a Canon 5D Mark II.

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