Here are another set of images of the moon rise behind Cathedral Rock in Sedona, Arizona. I had two locations preselected for the shots on this day. The first was located about one and one-half miles west of the rocks so that the moon’s disk would appear larger than the gaps between the rocks. We were on the eastern slopes of Pyramid Peak (the eastern summit of Scheurman Mountain). This setup worked as planned but since it was still early in the evening the sky was too bright and the moon appeared washed out. I did get the result I was seeking, however, which was the moon larger than the opening between the different rock columns.
We moved to our second location—closer to Cathedral Rock which was now only one mile away—at the Red Rock Crossing/Crescent Moon picnic area. Many other photographers were assembled here but were scattered over a large area so that it wasn’t hard to secure a good spot for the next series of images. This time, the sky was darker and the moon was perfectly framed between the rock columns. I admit that I did not know, in advance, that it would work out this well. The Photographers Ephemeris can tell you the times and geometry of the setup but it can’t reveal how the size of the moon will compare with the rocks.
Lots of planning—and a little bit of good luck.