Making the moon shine — a photography question

We returned home from a family birthday celebration on Saturday to find the Harvest Moon glowing in the night sky. I got my tri-pod and made every effort to record what I was seeing with my eyes. Like in this picture, I saw the dark silhouette of the trees the moon was rising through and some clouds in the sky.

Yet I also saw the detail on the moon like you can see in this photo. I couldn’t get my camera to record them both at the same time. When I looked it up online, I saw the suggestion that you take two photos and use Photoshop to put the good moon on top of the good landscape.

Let me start by saying that this photo has a lot of things wrong with it, not the least of which is that there are branches across the moon that don’t line up with the trees I captured. So the first step if you’re trying this, is to make sure the moon is not obstructed in any way. If I were really good at Photoshop, I could possibly have corrected that problem, but alas, I’m not.

Anyway, this is the shot I was hoping to get, but not able to. Do you know any other non-Photoshop way of taking a photo like this?

When I woke up at 4:00 a.m., I saw a bright light in the sky flooding in from our bedroom window, which is on the opposite side of our house from where this photo was taken earlier in the evening. The moon had traveled around and was now visible in a different place in the sky. That set me to thinking about the moon going around the earth, and the earth going around on its axis, and then moving around the sun. And how fast all these things are really happening. And what might happen if the motion slowed down. Not something you want to be thinking about awake alone at 4:00 a.m.

Regardless of my lack of Photoshopping skills, and my mind’s tendency to wander, isn’t that a magnificent harvest moon?

Shine on.