The Greatest Moon Pics We've Ever Seen, Like Ever.

The Greatest Moon Pics We've Ever Seen, Like Ever.

The moon is something shared by almost everyone on Earth.

Our natural satellite unites us, affects us, make the tides ebb and flow while illuminating the night sky as a beacon to humanity.

There's exactly zero downsides to the moon. 

It's the Cat's meow.
It's the berries in the yoghurt.

The moon is a dessert in the sky that will never make you fat and never runs out.

In summary, we here at ARSE are pro-moon. 
Tonight, go outside and say thank you to the moon.


Do it here with the greatest pics we've ever seen.


1. Zach Cooley

Image: In-camera double exposure. Arches National Park, Utah. Zach Cooley.


Zach Cooley hails from Phoenix, AZ, and specialises in snapping captures of the moon from some of the more barren parts of the United States. In October last year, the full moon looked through the iconic North Windows Arch at Arches National Park in Utah and seemingly created a god-like eye.

The double exposure photo gained international attention and was shared by major news outlets worldwide.

Cooley: "Happy Halloween weekend! I planned an entire vacation mostly around the fact that the moonrise would align with this arch and I could get something resembling a spooky eye on the week of Halloween. Over two nights I got some single shots and double exposures, I thought this one was best for the eye look, what do you think? Can't wait to share more with you all!⁠"

His images can make the moon seem modest, or a goliath in comparison to our creations including entire cities as shown below.


Double exposure of the moon dwarfing Cooley's hometown of Phoenix.


2. Brandon Yoshizawa

 Image: Moonrise over Los Angeles, California. Brandon Yoshizawa


Los Angeles' Brandon Yoshizawa fancies himself a mixed bag when in comes to photography. Including landscapes, cities, and astrophotography. And it's the combination of the three that makes his images so special. 

Yoshizawa: "Here’s what the moonrise sequence looked like at 300mm. The moon stayed nice and orange as it rose through all that haze. This was a little harder to put together than I anticipated because the earlier frames were only a tad after sunset and the later frames were during twilight so the light changed quite a bit. This is about 30 minutes of the rise using the lighten blend mode to add moon frames to the original base frame. Gonna re-work a better and cleaner version of the one I posted on Saturday as well for my website. 3 moon pics in a row…calm down bro at least it’s real."


 Image: New Years Eve 2020 Celebrations. Los Angeles, California. Brandon Yoshizawa


Yoshizawa: "Happy 2021 everyone. Here’s a final rendered shot from yesterday’s timelapse post which is a stack of shots used from the sequence. I took the base moon exposure as it hit the top of the US Bank tower, then I layered in several firework files using the lighten blend mode in Photoshop. Every year I work one of these stacks and with the full moon adding to the firework magic in 2020, it takes the top spot in my firework collection of photos."


3. Karwendel Bilder (Karwendel Pictures)

 Image: The moon resting atop a pinnacle on the Karwendel Range. Karwendel Bilder.


Karwendel Bilder is a team of German photographers dedicated to capturing the beauty of the Karwendel Range in the Northern Limestone Alps in Western Europe ("bilder" means "images" in German). Karwendel Bilder has a lot of photography potential due to its uniquely beautiful location in the Alps.

The Karwendel mountain chain is connected to the Bavarian Alps between the rivers Isar and Inn and Lake Achensee. The mountains in the Karwendel mainly consist of limestone and dolomite, which gives them their unique colour and texture.


4. Shanan Kapene

 Image: The moon peeks at the New Zealand mainland before emerging. 
Southland, New Zealand. @southstar_photography.


New Zealand features some of the most picturesque views of the galaxy thanks to climate, position and their aggressive stance on light pollution. Because of this, New Zealand enjoys energy conservation, less reliance on power, and the betterment of the natural environment.

NZ's Shanan Kapene makes full use of his homeland's gifts to capture the moon in breathtaking form.

Kapene: Last night's full moon was one of a kind, this image was taken early on in its climb into the sky, later after this it was an intense brightness and lit up the whole harbour. Love me a nice moon"


5. Andrew McCarthy

 Image: A never before seen look at the moon, because it was created by the photographer.
Elk Grove, California. @cosmic_background


Does this seem like the most detailed photo of the moon you've ever seen? Well, it should because the photographer made it that way. Not exactly cheating, McCarthy made an "impossible" moon using his photography skills and a lot of patience.

McCarthy: "This moon might look a little funny to you, and that's because it is an impossible scene. From 2 weeks of images of the waxing moon, I took the section of the picture that has the most contrast (right before the lunar terminator where shadows are the longest), aligned and blended them to show the rich texture across the entire surface. This was exhausting to say the least, namely because the moon doesn't line up day over day, so each image had to be mapped to a 3D sphere and adjusted to make sure each image aligned. I may or may not try this again for the waning phases depending on feedback."


Image: A silver medal. The night before the Grand Conjunction which the view was blocked by clouds.
Elk Grove, California. @cosmic_background


McCarthy was anxiously awaiting the Grand Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn late last year (who wasn't.) Rain threatened many a look at the Grand Conjunction, but McCarthy was ever the optimist and snapped the above Death Star-esque look at our natural satellite over some moody clouds. 

McCarthy: "Dreary cloudy days eventually end, and the gray skies part with silver lining to reveal the slice of heaven that was always there. Right now it may be raining, but that won’t last forever. In the meantime, here’s an image I had captured the night before the Grand Conjunction, and saved for when the weather was too poor to shoot anything new.

There’s nothing more magical than watching clouds reveal the moon through a telescope, but doing that moment justice in an image is always a challenge. Capturing this scene involves multiple layers of images shot with different settings and different tools and blended to cover the incredible dynamic range our eyes are capable of."

And one final one from McCarthy while we're on the subject of Star Wars references...

There's the dark side of the moon, then there's the moon going to the dark side of the force...


Image: A never before seen look at the moon, because it was created by the photographer.
Elk Grove, California. @cosmic_background

The perfect blend of enough afternoon light to illuminate the clouds and little enough to allow the moon to emerge. 

McCarthy: "A razor thin moon descend through the Sacramento sunset last night. Fiery clouds obscure the pointy horns of the ancient object in our skies. I gripe a lot about the weather this time of year, since it makes it next to impossible to shoot deep space objects. But sometimes when conditions are right, the trade off is worth it. Don’t forget to look up."


6. Everett Bloom

Image: The path of totality, literally. The moon mere moments after eclipsing the sun.
Central Oregon, USA. @everett_bloom_photography


Most folks would be over the... well, y'know...  about snagging a photo as majestic as this but, in this instance, not the understated Everett Bloom. A bloke who let the image do the talking, Bloom caught the moon exiting the path of our sun just moments after totality in 2017.

Bloom: "Central Oregon"


Image: A timelapse of the moon over Mount Rainer National Park, Washington.


Much like New Zealand, the United States has sanctuaries with incredible potential for capturing the moon and sky. Mount Rainier in particular has unobstructed, deep looks into the cosmos and our moon as shown.

Bloom: "This was one of the most challenging photos to date. I used two cameras to capture the path of the moon during the total lunar eclipse in January. After spending over two hours trying to find a composition I was satisfied with, I set up my full frame on the tripod. Luminosity masks have become my best friend for bringing out certain highlights in night photos. The foreground consists of a combination of 4 shots to capture details in the areas I wanted to show. I lined up the shot using Photopills and the Sky Guide app to see the exact path the moon would take in the night sky. On my second body, crop sensor, I zoomed in to 120mm and took shots of the various stages of the eclipse throughout the entire night. Basically the entire night was spent running back and forth between both cameras and checking settings. For the final image I simply overlaid the shots taken with my crop sensor since they were zoomed closer and had more detail than the shots with my 14mm wide angle. I knew I wouldn’t be able to capture a balanced exposure of the foreground and the moon in one single photo so I opted for the blended exposure method. The path is true, the size is true and all shots were taken the same night, on the same tripod, at the same exact spot. I really wish I had a long lens so I could try some new stuff, maybe one day 🤞Watching it in person was pretty awesome."


7. Sean Parker 

Image: Total Lunar Eclipse Wolf Moon of 2019. Try saying that 10 times fast.

A total lunar eclipse or "blood moon" is named after the reddish veil on a full moon when it slips into Earth's shadow. A "wolf moon" is the first full moon of winter and named by the indigenous Algonquin tribes of the northeastern United States. So, a Total Lunar Eclipse Wolf Moon caught by Sean Parker is a combination of the two. And the image is as cool as the name suggests. 

It's no small feat creating an image of the moon in rich detail, but doing it in a crimson gradient adds a new dimension to the world's night light.

Parker: "Make sure to look up at the Total Lunar Eclipse Wolf Moon tonight! It’s the only total lunar eclipse for 2019! Crossing my fingers we get some open patches in the clouds here in Tucson!"


Image: Total Lunar Eclipse timelapse over the Sonoran Desert, Tucson, Arizona. @seanparkerphotography. 

Another peek at the early 2019 eclipse like Everett Bloom. Only this one from Sean Parker is much longer with the distant moon looking precious with shifting tones in the distance. Although Parker considers himself a travel and landscape photographer who guarantees that none of his images are composites, but true photographs. Obviously this timelapse is an exception, and we are glad we broke his style to give us this gift. 

Parker: "Total Lunar Eclipse seen from the Sonoran Desert last night! Here is a “timelapse” photo showing all the stages of the eclipse as it rose over the Tucson mountains. This photo was challenging to create and is not a composite. I set up my camera and took a timelapse of the eclipse, then took one long exposure for foreground, then stacked it all using exposure / layer blending in photoshop. I’m not great at photoshop stuff so it took me like 2 hours just to edit it making this image 8 hours of work 😂. I shot this with a side angle lens which is why the moon looks small. In reality the moon was a bit larger than a full moon but you couldn’t really tell with the naked eye.

Anyways I hope you enjoy the image. Weather was pretty poor here on the west coast so my workshop client and I made the best of it. How was the view where you live? I’ll be answering any questions and responding to comments when I can. I’m just now getting to bed!"


Ahoy it's Clintern! Forever in our hearts and in our minds.
Stay golden Oppy boy. July 7, 2003 - June 10, 2018.

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Thanks for reading and enjoying some of our favourite moon pics.

Please give the photographers a like or a share and send this link to a friend who appreciates a good mooning!


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