Contest Winners: “Shoot for the Moon”

We received an excellent response to the first GreyLearning Photo Contest, and it was very difficult to select a winner among the many entries we received. In fact, we’ve selected three Honorable Mention images in addition to the Grand Prize winner, because there were so many beautiful images submitted.

Moon in Yellowstone by Mark Lagrange

The Grand Prize image (shown above) was submitted by photographer Mark Lagrange. You can find Mark’s photography page on Facebook here:

Here are the circumstances Mark described in capturing this dramatic image:


This image was taken in Yellowstone National Park. Seeing the moon and the image potential spurred a heightened sense of pursuit driving rapidly from one ridgeline compositional opportunity to the next! We knew that the compression yielded by a large lens would be just the ticket for this moon, if we could find a good ridgeline that would align with that much lens, and have the moon angle not “get away” from us. We drove from spot to spot, until coming across this one. Stopping the car in the middle of the road in Yellowstone at night is simple. All the tourists are gone by that hour! Seeing the moon’s moment behind this stand, I quickly threw the bean bag on the hood and proceeded to adamantly tell those in the car to “not even breath” as I fired off a few bracketed shots! Adrenaline landscape night shooting with a 600mm… fun stuff!


The image was captured using a Canon 600/4 IS II lens with a 1.4x teleconverter, using a Canon 1Dx camera body. The exposure was 1/200th of a secong at f/11 with an ISO setting of 2000.

As the Grand Prize winner, Mark will receive one year of free access to the entire GreyLearning Ultimate Bundle.

Honorable Mention Awards

In addition to the Grand Prize image shown above, we selected three images for Honorable Mention. Here are those three images, with notes about the capture from the photographer:

International Space Station and the Moon by Tim Gray


The above image shows the transit of the International Space Station across the moon, captured by Tim Gray. Tim Gray is a team member of the Professional Photography Group and assistant teacher for The Photography Classroom, both based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Tim explained the circumstances as follows:


I took this on October 6, 2017 at Catawba, South Carolina using my Canon 7D M-II, Tamron 150-600mm, Manfrotto tripod, and shutter cable release. I shot in Manual mode at f/8.0 and 1/500 sec and set the telephoto to 500mm to avoid any distortion, but knowing I would have to enlarge in post. Since the duration of the transit was only 1.2 seconds, I was using High-speed continuous mode shutter release. While transit finder told me down to the hundredth of a second when it would occur, I was unsure how accurate my phone or watch was, so I started shooting about a minute early.

Holding binoculars with one hand and the shutter release with another, I could barely keep the moon in sight let alone see any details so I kept the shutter running for about 2 ½ minutes not knowing if the transit had happened.

After going home and downloading the photos into Lightroom (all 1,415 photos), I had to wait just a little while (just a little) for Lightroom to make the standard previews. I opened the first one in loupe view and ran through them by mashing down right arrow key. I didn’t see the transit so I went to bed thinking I had somehow blown it.

Next morning, armed with a cup of coffee, I went through each photo one at a time and found the station on the 566th photo. Then it was just a matter of stacking the 11 shots into Photoshop, aligning & applying masks, B/W adjustments, etc.


Moon with Half Dome by Martin Pothier

The image above featuring the moon above Half Dome in Yosemite Valley was captured by Martin Pothier. Martin described the photo as follows:


This image was taken with a Hasselblad. I had plans to visit :Yosemite a week after the full moon. I captured the moon in my sisters yard in Foresthill, Ca. and removed the film back. At yosemite, after composing for Half Dome, I put that film back, back on the camera and make the second exposure. That miight be rather difficult to do with today’s digital!


Eclipse Sequence by Marion Vaisman

The above image showing the progression of a full lunar eclipse with a sequence of captures was captured by photographer Marion Vaisman. Marion explained the image as follows:


The images of the moon were created during the last fool moon eclipse visible in North America, using a Nikon D4 camera with the Nikkor 600mm f/4 lens, on a tripod. I was correcting manually for the position of the moon prior to each image capture, which were every 15 to 20 minutes. I used a 5-frame bracketed burst including during the total eclipse phase, when the sequence of bursts were obtained more frequently to ensure capturing the “Blood Moon” color. The best images were selected from each phase and composited in Photoshop as seen here. It was a lot of fun specially since the eclipse occurred between 2:30 and 5:15 AM Eastern Time.


Congratulations again to the Grand Prize and Honorable Mention winners! And thank you to all of the photographers who submitted great images to the “Shoot for the Moon” GreyLearning Photo Contest.