Rocky bay lit by enough moonlight to appear as day

I am always struck by the saturation quality of moonlight. The colours have a rich and understated vibrancy. 

This is a small bay on the far south coast of New South Wales captured using only the light of the moon … the Super Moon of 6th may 2012 to be exact. The exposure time is 12 minutes @f/9 and you can see there was plenty of light … and colour! Our eyes simply don't see the colours of moonlight … they're physically incapable of doing so. In fact seeing by moonlight is perhaps the closest we will ever come to naturally viewing a scene in monochrome. (In brief, it's to do with the rods and cones that lie in our retinas and something I will do a separate post about.) It was close to midnight and although the surf was pounding in on a king tide (presumably to do with the perigee of the moon) with waves reaching to a couple of meters from the tripod … the long exposure has effectively smoothed everything out.

About the 'Super Moon'

The Moon’s distance from the Earth is not always the same due to the elliptical shape of the orbit and variations in the gravitational attraction between the Moon, Earth and Sun. When a full moon occurs close to the perigee of the Moon (the point of its closest approach to the Earth) we observe a “super moon” phenomenon.There are anywhere from 4 to 6 super moons every year, not all appear as intense or last as long in their 'super' effect. The perigee of the Moon on the 6th of May was the most powerful in years and caused many discussions in scientific circles. There was even a claim circulating that a Super Moon contributed to the 'sinking of Titanic' (wtf!) occurring as it did 100 years after the sinking in April 1912 … my mind boggles when I reflect that some people believe this!

What about you? Did you see the Super Moon? Did you watch the moonrise or do anything special other than perhaps go outside and look and think  'hey, it does look a little bigger'?

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