Mosta, Malta

By Darrin Zammit Lupi

Having missed the opportunity to photograph the supermoon in July, I was determined not to do so again for the big celestial event on August 10. I spent a long time researching locations and angles to get a dramatic picture, and settled on the iconic cathedral in Mdina, Malta’s ancient capital city.

The supermoon rises over the cathedral in Mdina, Malta's ancient capital city, in the centre of the island, August 10, 2014. The astronomical event occurs when the moon is closest to the Earth in its orbit, making it appear much larger and brighter than usual.

Using a newly-purchased iPhone app, I could work out precisely where and when the moon would appear between the church steeples and the best position to photograph the moment.  

As the appointed time drew nearer, I began to feel nervous – what if I hadn’t used the app properly and messed up the calculations?  I joked to a photographer friend, who had joined me for the evening, that if I got it wrong I might actually transform into a werewolf (part of my surname, Lupi, is the Italian word for wolves).

I heaved a huge and very audible sigh of relief as I spotted the rim of the moon appearing bang on cue and precisely where it was supposed to.  

The supermoon rises behind the cathedral in Mdina, Malta's ancient capital city, in the centre of the island, August 10, 2014.  The astronomical event occurs when the moon is closest to the Earth in its orbit, making it appear much larger and brighter than usual.

I took my pictures using a 400mm long lens and 1.4x extender mounted on a sturdy tripod and I shifted position slightly as the moon climbed higher. When it was too high to photograph, I packed my gear and headed back to the car. It had been a long, hot day and I wanted to grab a snack and drink while filing my pictures, so we headed towards Mdina, but couldn’t find a parking spot.