It was created about five minutes after sunset. In actuality, the sky was a bit paler than you see here, and a bit brighter…my processing to extract detail in the moon’s surface changed its color to the midnight blue. The moon was also obscured by some light cloud cover that was rather orange in color, which is where the halo comes from. The reason the photo looks this way is because of the fact that the moon is rather bright, and to make it’s tones look “normal”, one has to darken the rest of the scene by quite a bit.
I think, contrary to popular opinion, you can’t actually get a nice “midnight blue” sky at midnight. By that time, the sky is pretty well and truly a deep black, spotted with stars and the milky way. I think a true midnight blue occurs maybe an hour after sunset, during “blue hour” or astronomical twilight. Even at that time, however, if you try to photograph the moon and make that deep blue sky visible, you would probably need a camera with 20 stops of DR. The best time to get a deep blue sky behind the moon is shortly after sunset.
Hey Jon! I am bit confused. Was this photograph created around midnight? Or a bit after sunset? I love the blue effect on the sky.