The morning of September 30th, 2023 broke crisp and clear – perfect conditions for photographing the full Harvest Moon high in the sky before sunrise right from my yard. As a wildlife photographer, I love this time of year when the moon is at its brightest and most colorful. The Harvest Moon is the full moon that occurs closest to the autumnal equinox each year. This full moon has special significance for farmers harvesting their summer crops under the late summer moonlight.
At close to 6:00 AM, I stepped outside into my yard, looking westward towards the moon. Settling into a spot with open views of the sky, I set up my camera and tripod. The pale orange orb was still high in the western sky, its pockmarked surface glowing brightly against the dark night sky.
With the moon high overhead, its rich orange color was intensified. I began snapping photos, pleased with how sharp and detailed the moon looked through my telephoto lens.
The magic of the Harvest Moon is how large and colorful it appears in September. The moon’s orange hue results from its angle high overhead. I was thrilled to capture the true beauty and wonder of this astronomical event right from the comfort of my backyard. The Harvest Moon only appears this brightly and fully once a year.
My early morning photographing the Harvest Moon was a special experience. As a wildlife photographer, I live for these moments of natural wonder when I can freeze time and reveal nature’s brilliance. Capturing the Harvest Moon high in the sky was a highlight I will remember for years to come. The full moon never loses its magic, no matter how many times I photograph its transient beauty.
Steve Creek, Wildlife Photographer
Note: It is also the fourth and final supermoon of the year, appearing about 5% bigger and 13% brighter than the average full moon. The Harvest Moon is named after the season of gathering, as it occurs close to the beginning of fall or the autumnal equinox. This phenomenon helped farmers work into the evening to harvest their crops ahead of the first frost.
- Camera: Canon EOS R7
- Lens: Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM
- Location: Lavaca, Arkansas
- Date and Time Taken: September 30, 2023 (05:51 A.M.)
- Program Mode: Manual
- Aperture: f/7.1
- Shutter Speed: 1/800 sec
- ISO: 500 (Auto)
- Exposure Comp: -1.0
- Focal Length: 500mm