Gorgeous Photographs of the Supermoon Rising Above a Swiss Peak

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Were you able to capture photographs of the supermoon this past weekend? Photographer Alessandro Della Bella did. On Saturday, he set up his camera near a mountain in Switzerland and captured breathtaking photographs of the moon rising above a mountain peak in the horizon.

Alessandro tells us that he visited the Säntis mountain this past Saturday — one day prior to the official “supermoon” day — and set up his Canon 1D X, 400mm f/2.8 lens, and a 2x teleconverter (resulting in a 800x focal length). His settings were ISO 400, 1/250s, and f/8.

When he first set up his camera in the location, he was disappointed to see that there were clouds covering the peaks and preventing the moonrise from being seen:

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However, he had a fantastic stroke of luck when the clouds suddenly disappeared “just in time” as the moon began rising from behind the peak:

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What you see in the frame is the 124-meter-high transmission tower found at the peak of the Säntis. Here’s a closer look:

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As you can see, there are at least two people in the frame (they’re standing on the left side of the platform looking at the moon):


The supermoon is when a full moon makes its closest possible approach to Earth while on its elliptical orbit, making the apparent size of the moon the largest it can be for observers here on Earth. A supermoon is up to 14% larger and 30% brighter than the moon at its farthest point.

Here’s a comparison image showing an “average” moon with a supermoon:


A perfect supermoon (a full moon at the moon’s closest point) only happens once every 18 years or so, but less-perfect ones happen a little more frequently.

P.S. Alessandro has appeared on PetaPixel a few times before. Twice it was to show his frozen cameras from shooting in extreme environments, and once it was when he captured his own camera’s theft in a time-lapse video.

Image credits: Photographs by Alessandro Della Bella and used with permission

  • Junior


  • Dave


  • 4dmaze

    What is a ‘perfect’ supermoon? Usually a supermoon is every 14 months or so. The article sites a perfect supermoon as being every 18 years or so. I couldn’t find anything on it, anyone know? Thx.

  • Mosley Hardy

    I’m going to guess that it’s a supermoon that happens on the same day as a full moon.

  • Mike

    A perfect “supermoon” is one that’s overhyped to extreme levels.

  • Mike

    A supermoon is by definition a full moon at perigee.

  • David Portass

    very nice, unfortunately the UK (at least the region I live) was completely covered in cloud in the moon rise direction so didn’t see it at all :(

  • Banan Tarr

    Five tripods? That’s some serious kit.

  • Sike

    Maybe 6. the one that took his shot

  • Banan Tarr

    Hopefully his gf/wife :)

  • Cecilia

    This is what I have found on Wikipedia:

    The full Moon occurring less than one hour away from perigee is a
    near-perfect coincidence that happens only every 18 years or so.

    I consider it is not clear in the article.

  • Alessandro Della Bella

    Yes Banan, my dear girlfriend took the picture!

  • Banan Tarr

    Much more expensive to have than another tripod, but worth it! :) Thanks Alessandro and excellent work, btw.

  • Alessandro Della Bella

    Thank you, Banan! And yes, she’s worth more than a million tripods..

  • danthompson

    That last one where you can see the person on the deck is really cool. Nice work!