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This photo was taken in September 2019, and it shows the full Moon setting over the coastal town of Vila Nova de Milfontes, on the southwest of Portugal. Photographing the Moon can sometimes be challenging, due to the range of brightness and balance of light on the scene. I had planned this shot to coincide with the day before the Moon was full. On such a day, the Moon rises around the time of sunset, and it sets the following morning around the time of sunrise. As a result, the balance of light between the bright Moon and the landscape is just about right. And of course, the combination of the bright Moon and the warm light of sunrise results in an interesting light over the landscape.
To catch the moment, I had to be on site before sunrise. I left my house while it was still dark, just to find the sky covered with some wispy clouds. I was concerned that I would not be able to see the Moon after all. Still, I drove to Milfontes, parked the car, and proceeded along the bridge over the Mira river, setting up my camera and lens on the tripod. This bridge affords an excellent viewpoint over the estuary, where the river joins the Atlantic. This coastal town is quite popular as a beach destination in the Summer, but on the September morning quietness reigned.
I was quite happy to see that the clouds started to disperse, and the Moon was nice and clear. I used my telephoto lens to include the river, boats, and the large Moon floating over the landscape.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor