Would you agree if I say that the moon is the most outstanding item in the world of poetry, music, drawing plus love? In the beginning, people were amazed by the moon until Edward “Buzz” Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins marked their footprints on the moon. It was a historical day that changed the divine perspective of people. Since then, humans have been quite alert about the moon. They created their life routines along with the moon. For example, our initial conception of a month was dependent on the cycle of the moon.
Zach Cooley is a cool person whose favorite landscape theme is the moon. He had always tried his best to capture the full moon whenever possible. Even though some people argue that his photos are fake and edited, believe me, they are 100% real though they are enhanced by a few camera tricks such as double exposure and zooming. But, he has only used the zooming option in this collection. Here are a few words about his magical creations: “I wanted to start by clarifying a few things about them. While done in-camera (no Photoshop or anything like that), it is two photos merged into one. I’m much more proud of the single-exposure photo, though, because there is no camera trick involved there, nobody can call it fake. I’ve so far seen that it’s much less confusing for people to just talk about either the double or single, and when asked for media publication I’ve always provided the single exposure photo. This is understandable since most people don’ t walk around every day with binoculars or a zoom lens. But if they did, they could certainly see the same things they see in my photos, at least with some planning!”
He nailed this once again last October by photographing a natural arch in Arches Natural Park in Utah, USA. A group of people has been resting on one of the arcs while the god looks beneath for his creation. This specific image which featured God’s eye grabbed the whole internet community on many platforms. It became monumental among other ordinary pics.
These are some of the extracted details from his exclusive interviews: “I started to get into photography about 8 years ago, and I remember at the time having thought back to an old memory of when digital cameras were fairly new and my dad tried taking a photo of the full moon straight above us. It didn’t turn out at all. He captured the same thing so many today do with their cell phones—just a white disc, lacking the details that we can see with our eyes. Well, since I was learning photography, I figured surely I could learn how to take better pictures of the moon. Since then, I’ve continued to learn and practice, and I’ve especially enjoyed finding interesting compositions with the landscape.”
Zach did not miss to explain this particular phenomenon in layman’s terms: “Many still can’t believe the moon could even appear so large, though, and so I usually ask them: “If you move a mile in the opposite direction of the moon, does it seem to change size? What about 5 miles?” Thank god they gave the correct reply, “No.” Then I asked, “And what about if you move a mile away from something on the ground, say a friend, do they seem to change size?” The correct answer is “Yes.” Hopefully, at this point, they’ve put those things together and understand the “trick.” These are two simple concepts that we don’t normally think about, but once you do, you realize that it’s all about making things on the ground smaller by moving away so that the moon will appear larger by comparison. One thing I’ve learned about photography is it is good to capture different perspectives, to get viewers’ attention by taking photos of things we rarely or never see. It’s another reason I love shooting the moon with landscapes, since most of the time when we see the moon, it’s high in the sky. People don’t go out to watch the moon rise or set.”
In addition to all these, here are some interesting facts about the moon: Monday belongs to the moon, “moon’s day,” while Sunday belongs to the sun, “sun’s day.” The Earth sees the same face of the moon due to the synchronous rotation of it. The particular effect of the moon is called tidal locking. Of course, the moon is a part of the Earth that was created due to a rock-sized as Mars crashed into pieces 4.5 billion years ago.
Here’s one of the gears he uses for the procedure of photography: “I’m currently using a Canon EOS R camera, and for most of my moon photos, I use a Tamron 150-600 G2 lens, which can magnify up to 12x. To plan out alignments, I use three different apps (PlanIt!, The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE), and PhotoPills), as I like to cross-check, and I’ve also found that each app has different advantages.”
Unfortunately, all his plans have been halted with the rise of COVID-19: “I had planned this year for a week-long backpacking trip in Colorado, but was forced to cancel that due to a COVID-19 transportation shutdown. I began looking for other possible trips, and along with that, searched for potential moon alignments. Once I realized I could capture it with the arch, I began planning my vacation around that. If it weren’t for COVID-19, I wouldn’t have taken this photo, at least not this year!”
Yet, he has a lot of optimistic plans and ideas about directing forward: “It’s only been the last year or so that I started getting more serious about photography, so I feel I’m just scratching the surface. I continue to look for compelling moon compositions and my next big one will be with a red rock formation in Sedona, Arizona. I’ve also started to look into ways to educate others on how to take photos like this so I may be starting something soon for that!”