lassen national park moonriseThis shot was one of those happy accidents you run into now and then. Kris and I were driving through the Lassen Volcanic National Park after a day of hiking. We were in a hurry to get back to our motel south of the park because the only restaurant in town closed at 8 p.m.

But when we came over a hill, this scene was right in our face. Dinner could maybe wait. I yelled “Stop! Stop!” and Kris pulled up right in the middle of the road. I reached behind me on the floor for my “little” camera and took two shots.

I didn’t know at the time that this was the so-called “Sturgeon Moon.” The closeness of the moon to the earth at this time of year makes it especially bright. And, the rare smokeless night in the Western United States and the 8000 foot (2440 meter) altitude made it clear.

I intentionally underexposed the shot relative to the trees so that the moon would retain some detail. The white balance setting of daylight makes the darkening sky and intense blue and gives the moon its beautiful natural white.

Shot with the Fujifilm X30, ISO 100, f/6.4 at 1/200 second. The little zoom lens was zoomed all the way out to make the moon as big as possible.

And, here’s a bonus shot. We kept driving and after a few switchbacks we were pointed the other direction into the sunset. The sun was already behind the mountains, but it left a nice sky behind as it dipped.

sunset Lassen Volcanic National park

I’ve recently updated my photo equipment page to account for a lot of recent purchases to enhance my kit, So please click here for more information.

You can buy prints of my photos–or just look at past photos–on my Travel Photos page.

By the way, you can help support Travel Past 50 by clicking on the link below to check out the great selection of camera gear at B&H Photo. It’s where we’ve bought 99 percent of our stuff. Great prices and free shipping.



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