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Plane & Pilot Photo Of The Week For November 13, 2020

Our Friday The 13th Photo Of The Week is spookily cool! The shot of the tower at Indianapolis International is haunted by a giant full Moon.

Norberto Nunes captured this shot of the supermoon of December, 3, 2017, by using an app to carefully plan the alignment. The clouds cooperated and cleared enough for the perfect shot, which Nunes captured just after sunset in the very small window of time he had to get the shot.
Norberto Nunes captured this shot of the supermoon of December 3, 2017, by using an app to carefully plan the alignment. The clouds cooperated and cleared enough for the perfect shot, which Nunes captured just after sunset in the very small window of time he had to get the shot.
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In honor of Rod Serling and to commemorate Friday the 13th (cue spooky music), we present a photograph seemingly from another dimension, a land of shadow and substance… well, Indianapolis, anyways.

The shot of the tower at KIND was taken by talented professional photographer Norberto Nunes and shows the full moon seemingly perched atop the antennas on the roof of Indy’s control tower. The shot was taken during the Supermoon Event of December 3, 2017. And it is not PhotoShopped. It was, rather, the result of careful planning, expert execution, and a little luck. 

Here, Nunes describes his journey and this very special photograph.

His passion for photography of the night sky got started only a handful of years ago. “My day job,” he told Plane & Pilot, “is as a mechanical engineer, but I’ve always had a passion for photography. In 2014, my wife and I made a trip to the West Coast, where I saw the Milky Way for the first time with my own eyes, unaided, as we stood on the rim of Crater Lake.”

“Another photographer that was there,” Nunes explained, “gave me some tips on capturing the night sky. That was the definitive moment I began my focus with astrophotography. As I learned more about celestial bodies I also learned the details of capturing the night sky but also using apps like (Planit! for photographers) to create and plan nightscapes.” Well, clearly!  

“I like to photograph real night scenes, not composites, which makes the planning and weather even more important. With the December 3rd supermoon on the horizon, the weather wasn’t cooperating, but Nunes gambled and made the hour-long drive hoping the clouds would clear up. “Luckily,” he said, it was even better than that, with a few clouds hanging around “to give the eerie feel to the photo.” 

As far as technical details are concerned, the photo was taken at 600mm with a crop sensor camera to give a little extra reach (900mm equivalent). The  timing of the passing of the moon behind the tower was a lucky break, as well, as Nunes shared that the time of perfect alignment, which was just after sunset, meant that there was enough ambient light for him to to capture details in the tower and the moon with an exposure so slow that the moon would move across the field of view and blur the shot.

Nunes has these available for purchase on his photography site, along with a lot of other remarkable images. Check it out. And thanks for letting us share this with our readers, Norberto!

A screen capture of the alignment planning app called Planit! that Nunes used to plan out this remarkable shot.
A screen capture of the alignment planning app called Planit! that Nunes used to plan out this remarkable shot.

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