Climber captures striking ‘man in the moon’ image

A climber has captured a stunning image of himself silhouetted against the night sky – creating a real ‘man in the moon’ moment.

Gareth Owen took the striking photographs in the early hours of Friday morning when the moon was tinged with pink in a phenomenon known as the ‘strawberry moon’.

The name of the strawberry moon comes from its stunning colour and because it marks the start of the strawberry picking season.

Pic By Gareth Owen/Mercury Press

Gareth, 29, said he knew the annual lunar event was coming and so headed to the Dinorwic Quarry in Snowdonia, Wales, to get the perfect shot.

Gareth from Llanberis, Wales, said: “It doesn’t happen very often so I was determined to get a picture of it.

“The name of the moon marks the beginning of the strawberry picking season rather than because of the red colour it has.

“That’s the reason I went to get the photo in the first place.

“I climbed and got to the quarry at about 1am, It was just me and my border collie dog Ben.

Pic By Gareth Owen/Mercury Press

“I got there a little early and I could see that it was going to pass so I waited a little before running up to the gap.”

The electrician set the timer on his Nikon D7000 – a technique he uses regularly to capture stunning pictures of the Snowdonian mountains.

Gareth said: “I wanted to get a silhouette and that ‘man in the moon’ shot.

“When I saw the result I was really pleased with it.”

Keen mountaineer Gareth, who has been climbing on and off since he was 12, usually heads into the mountains two or three times a week in a bid to capture Snowdonia on camera.

His technique involves setting the exposure and composition manually and letting the timer give him enough time to get into frame.

Usually taken at sunrise or sunset it often involves a dangerous climb up knife-edge ridges but experienced climber Gareth always tries the routes in the daytime first and lets his housemate, who is part of the mountain rescue team, know where he’s going.

Gareth said: “It gives you a real sense of achievement if you get to the top and capture that shot.

“I just find it relaxing up there, you don’t think about anything else. It’s my way of relaxing and chilling out.

“You feel like you’re the only people in the world. You see other people going down from the mountain while you’re going up.”

“I can be up in an attic fixing lights in the afternoon then up a mountain taking photos a few hours later.”

The strawberry moon occurs in June around the summer solstice.

It’s the seventh full moon to rise and signals the halfway point of this year’s 13 full moon phases.