Shooting Portraits with a Giant Moon Using a 1120mm Lens

Photographer Eric Pare recently went out into the desert and shot a set of photos showing a model sitting next to the moon. And the size of the moon in the photos wasn’t faked. Pare managed to capture a gigantic moon by using a 1120mm lens and having his model sit very far away.

Pare was shooting with a Canon 5D Mark IV DSLR using a Canon 400mm f/5.6 mounted to a 2x extender (Mark II), which in turn was mounted to a 1.4x extender. The teleconverter stacking gave the resulting setup a focal length of 1120mm.

To achieve the lens compression he needed to make the moon (a distant object) look bigger than usual, Pare placed himself at a great distance from his model:

“It turned out to be much easier than expected,” Pare says. “During the shooting, I realized that I was able to step down the aperture to f/64 by using the extenders. This gave me a very dirty low-quality image, but the fact that the moon and Kim were quite in focus was very mind-boggling.”

Here’s a photo Pare captured at 1120mm, f/64, 1/125s, and ISO 1600:

At this aperture, all the dust specks on the sensor show up in the image as ugly dark splotches. By cleaning up the photo in Photoshop, however, Pare was left with a usable image that was created using a single exposure.

Pare also used focus stacking at larger apertures to get the moon and his model both in focus. Here’s a focus stacked image that used separate photos captured at 1120mm, f/11, 1/200s, and ISO 100:

Here’s a short 3.5-minute behind-the-scenes look at how this shoot was done:

You can find more of Pare’s work on his website and Instagram. The model and dancer, Kim Henry, has more work on Instagram as well.