Filipino photographer captures a lunar halo in Oregon, US

Patience and perseverance are key in getting the perfect moment

In today’s time, it is hard to appreciate the wonder of the night sky. Apart from it being fleeting, its beauty is blurred by artificial lights from cities, making it hard for the naked eye to fully see it. But with new technology and skilled lensmen, celestial occurrences that happen at night are now immortalized through astrophotography. The latest to capture a rare sight is Filipino photographer Edwin Martinez.

Martinez is one of the Philippines' premier landscape photographers and has traveled around the world, from the Canadian Rockies and California to Iceland, among others, capturing the best view nature has to offer. This time, he is one of the guides of a photography tour with Wide Horizon Photo Adventures in Bandon, Oregon, where he got a breathtaking shot of a lunar halo.

MY KIND OF MOON — Photographed by Edwin Martinez, this moon dog in Oregon, US, is a rare night sky occurrence

“Oregon on the West Coast of the US is a photographer's paradise—majestic sea stacks and cliffs with the might of the Pacific Ocean,” Martinez tells the Manila Bulletin. “We were trying to photograph the Milky Way, but when we saw the moon with a halo, we quickly realized that the lunar halo or moon dog was the perfect element to add to an already striking scene.”

According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a lunar halo is formed “when moonlight interacts with the pencil-shaped ice crystals in thin, wispy cirrus clouds.” It is basically a natural optical illusion as refracted light from the crystals forms a circle around the moon. This atmospheric phenomenon is known by others as a “moon dog,” a mock moon, or paraselene.

Taking perfect shots of it wasn’t easy as the location is a coastal area. Martinez needed to work with rouge waves and intense cold temperature to capture the moon and its halo. “I have always been an outdoor guy, I love exploring new places,” Martinez, who is also a Canon brand ambassador, says. “I’ve always had a connection with nature and find the freedom the joy in it.”

Although he studied nursing, Martinez pursued a creative career. Ever since he was young, he has always been fascinated by the arts and he “never really liked a job that is monotonous.” With more than a decade of experience as a photographer, he is now teaching others how to handle the camera and get a perfect image.

“Patience and perseverance are key in getting the perfect moment. This also pertains to the joys in life,” he muses. “You need to know and realize when the perfect moment is.”

To see more of Edwin Martinez’s works, you can visit his and Facebook (EdwinMartinezPhotography) and Instagram (@EdwinMartinez) pages.