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Full Moon and Coit Tower, San Francsico

Posted by
Barbara Lee (Oakland, United States) on 28 February 2010 in Cityscape & Urban and Portfolio.

It was so much fun photographing the rising moon in Death Valley last month. So tonight, I decided to head over to the city and give it a try in an urban landscape. I knew the moonrise would be around 5:30, and I had a vague idea that if I got up on Telegraph Hill near Coit Tower, that it might be nice. My first shots included the Bay Bridge and the east bay hills. Unfortunately, the moon appeared only for a moment, between two dark storm cloud layers.

I took a few shots and met my patient husband who had been waiting in the car (it is never a good idea to do serious photography with non-photogs along, even ones I love as much as I do him!) Hungry, we headed over to North Beach and cruised around, finally lucking out in finding a parking spot. I left my tripod in the car and we walked toward the restaurant. Within two blocks, I noticed Coit Tower with the moon rising just behind it. My sweetheart jogged the 5 blocks back to the car for my tripod. Another 30 minutes behind the camera brought many great images.

It is always tricky to get the right exposure without blowing out the details of the moon. In this photo, the moon had slipped behind a thin layer of clouds, so I was able to preserve the detail in the moon while exposing long enough to catch the tower and just a hint of the buildings below. Tomorrow I'll share a verticle of this same location.

NIKON D90 2 seconds F/14.0 ISO 200 300 mm (35mm equiv.)

To view more of my images, visit my portfolio at Barbara Lee Photography. Also, visit my Facebook fan page at!/pages/Barbara-Lee-Photography/244133283497[/url

Spotlight photo at

Eleftheria from Athens, Greece


28 Feb 2010 7:03am

Spike from Bristol, United Kingdom

Nice job balancing the tower, moon, and clouds - composition as well as exposure.

You might like to check out The Photographer's Ephemeris, a very nifty bit of free software that ties together Google Earth/Maps and sun and moon data. Very handy for planning this kind of shot.

28 Feb 2010 9:15am

Patricia from Brecht, Belgium

WOW very beautiful (✿◠‿◠)❤

28 Feb 2010 9:38am

Paul from summerside, Canada


28 Feb 2010 12:30pm

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

Perfect shooting Barbara, and I know what you mean about trying to get a good exposure of the moon, it is so terribly bright in the night sky. So to do it and expose well for the building is a huge plus.

28 Feb 2010 3:08pm

alex centrella from California, United States

fantastic !

28 Feb 2010 6:07pm

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States

Terrific capture. Excellent composition.

28 Feb 2010 7:04pm

K.B.R from Switzerland

Impressive shot !!!
Love light and colors,

28 Feb 2010 8:42pm

LauraS from Chico, United States

Brilliant shot! Lovely.

28 Feb 2010 9:31pm

DarkElf from Perth, Australia

superb light and really good exposure to bring it out so well - not to mention a great composition as well!

1 Mar 2010 8:07am

Dixie from ingelmunster, Belgium

ver y beautiful,great!

1 Mar 2010 11:48am

Stu from Scotland | Residing in Kyoto, Japan

Just exquisite photography, Barbara!

1 Mar 2010 3:39pm

Self-Indulgence from Chicagoland, United States

Wonderful image both a credit to you and your husband for his wonderful patience! Coit tower has such charisma on it's own but to catch it beside the moon.. very nice.

1 Mar 2010 6:31pm

2 seconds
ISO 200
300 mm (35mm equiv.)