I had been meaning to try this all summer. I figured this may be the last full moon before the snow falls at this elevation. And the sky was clear.

I had seen this done mainly by just one photographer in the lower-48, but I wasn’t sure if he had altered the color balance in Photoshop. But then I read in a book that moonlight is basically reflected sunlight, so it should be the same color temperature as daylight if exposed at the same brightness.

I started shooting about 4 hours before sunrise. All I could see was black and white, the eyes’ rods and cones only operating. The wind was constantly blowing, gusting to about 30 mph. I clicked a shot and was totally surprised as I looked in the camera’s monitor.

Sure enough, the sky was blue — Yes! But then to my amazement, I had no idea that all around me were vibrant, fall colors! I knew the climate 3,000 feet above Anchorage is quite different, but I hadn’t anticipated this. Wow!!!

Though it looks like daylight, this was absolutely shot on a moonlit night, a little less than 3 days after the full moon. The white dots are all stars, and perhaps a planet as well. Some of the photos show what I think are satellite trails, which I may post later. Apparently there are less stars visible on the right because the moon is more brightly illuminating the right side, as it’s not far to the right of this view.


September 7th 4 AM

Powerline Pass near Flattop Mountain

Official sunrise/sunset times for Anchorage, Alaska, Sep. 7th:

7:07 AM & 8:46 PM

Daylight white balance, so this is how it would also look shot with daylight film

Canon 5D Mark II with medium wide-angle lens
very windy