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Great Orange glowing moon over Madrid Skyline


by JWCarlin

Capturing this image of a full moon over the skyline of Madrid, with its unique mix of historic and modern architecture, is a blend of urban and astrophotography. 


1. Camera:A DSLR or mirrorless camera with manual settings to control exposure and focus.

2. Telephoto Lens: A lens with a long focal length to zoom in on the moon and compress the scene, making the moon appear larger relative to the skyscrapers.

3. Tripod:  To ensure stability, especially for long exposures or telephoto shots, a sturdy tripod is essential to avoid camera shake.

4. Remote Shutter Release: To minimize vibrations when taking the photo, a remote trigger can be used.


1. Planning: Utilizing apps or websites that track lunar phases and paths was useful  planning the shot, especially to align the moon with the cityscape.

2. Location: Finding the right spot to set up the shot is crucial. It might require being at a distance from the city to line up the moon with the buildings effectively.

3.Timing:The moment when the moon rises or sets, which is when it appears larger due to the moon illusion, is the perfect time to capture the photo.

4. Exposure Settings: Balancing the exposure to capture details of the moon’s surface while keeping the cityscape well-lit can be challenging. This often requires shooting in manual mode and bracketing exposures.

5. Post-Processing:Combining different exposures of the moon and the cityscape in post-processing software can help to balance the final image, ensuring both elements are properly exposed.

What Makes the Image Special:

The juxtaposition of natural and human-made elements is what makes such images so captivating. The orange hue of the moon, which can be caused by atmospheric conditions or the moon’s position near the horizon, contrasts beautifully with the artificial lights and the silhouettes of the buildings. 

Madrid’s skyline, with its distinctive skyscrapers like the Cuatro Torres Business Area, provides a modern foreground to the ancient and unchanging moon. The combination of the orange full moon and the skyline can create a sense of wonder and serve as a reminder of the constant interplay between humanity and the greater universe.

Moreover, the technical skill required to successfully balance the light from the moon with the ambient city lights without overexposing either element is no small feat. It requires a deep understanding of photographic techniques and equipment.

In essence, such a photograph is not just visually stunning; it’s a moment captured in time that reflects the harmony and tension between our developing urban environments and the natural world.

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