Moonrise Over the Opera House, Sydney, Australia

Moonrise Over the Opera House, Sydney, Australia
Photo Details
Title:Moonrise Over the Opera House, Sydney, Australia
Caption:The full moon rises over the Sydney Opera House, as seen from the Harbour Bridge.
Taken:6 September, 2017
Location:33° 51.3344′ 0″ S 151° 12.5275′ 0″ E
Camera:NIKON D810
Focal length:200mm
Shutter speed:1/13s
Aperture:ƒ/16
ISO:800
Keywords:au, australia, building, city, full moon, harbour, moon, new south wales, night, nsw, opera house, sky, sydney, sydney opera house, twilight, water

When traveling with your camera, it often helps to know the phase of the moon. That said, if you’re not a walking moon phase calendar, simply paying attention to your surroundings can be a good fallback. Such was the case for me one night before I took this photo when I happened to look out the windows of the Google office and see an almost full moon rising over downtown. I immediately opened PhotoPills, saw that the full moon was the next night, and began formulating a plan.

I knew that the famous Sydney Opera House was to the east of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and that if I stood on the bridge I might be able to catch the moonrise over the Opera House. PhotoPills confirmed that this was possible, so I made plans to walk to the middle of the bridge and wait for the moonrise – giving myself extra time to explore the location and find a good shooting spot.

Of course, nothing ever quite works out to plan, and the moon ended up rising a few degrees north of where I had anticipated. I scrambled and ran south down the bridge to find an angle where I could catch the Opera House on a line to the moon, and managed to catch this photo right as the moon had risen above the city on the eastern harbor shore.

A few things to remember for next time:

  • Bring a warmer jacket. Sydney was warm during the day; but the temperature dropped around sunset, and the winds on the bridge were sharp and cold.
  • The moon rises in the┬ánortheast in the southern hemisphere. I kept looking more towards the south like an idiot who spends most of the time in the northern hemisphere.
  • There are lots of fences on the Harbour Bridge, and finding a large opening to shoot photos through can be tough. Narrow diameter lenses are key, but fortunately my 70-200 worked perfectly.

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