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Amateur photographer captures professional grade photos of jetliner flying in front of the Supermoon


About 36 miles east of Paris lies a small town called Crépy-en-Valois, which dates back to medieval times. Among the roughly 15,000 who call the French commune home is 39-year-old Sebastien Lebrigand, a self-described amateur photographer.

But one glance at Lebrigand's photographs of this past weekend's Supermoon, or perigee moon, reveals that he's working with the skills of a professional, even if that's not how he earns his salary.

Lebrigand, who was born in Paris and has lived in Crépy-en-Valois for the last 15 years, shot some surreal images of airplanes crossing in front of the Supermoon, which can be viewed in the slideshow above.

The first photo shows a Boeing 737 jet at an altitude of 38,000 feet crossing in front of the full moon on Saturday, August 9.

Indeed, many of Lebrigand's photos depict commercial airplanes crossing in front of the moon and the sun (check out a couple of those pics above as well).

Lebrigand, a subway maintenance worker, told AOL.com in an email that 'The rarity of the phenomenon, the conjunction between both!' are what inspires him to chase such grand images.

Another photo above shows an Airbus 320 climbing through the atmosphere, shooting out contrails from its tail pipes. Just above and to the left of the plane is the moon's Tycho Crater.

He said he achieves his signature photos by using a pair of telescopes as refractors and shooting with a digital Canon EOS 60D. He finds a perch in the garden behind his house, which is far enough from the bright lights of Paris to afford a perfect view, and his cat sits alongside him as he shoots, he told AOL.com.

And how is he able to know the type and altitude of the airplanes he's photographing?

Lebrigand said he uses the website FlightRadar24 to track and confirm the airplane model, altitude and speed at which the aircraft is traveling at the moment he photographs it.

Lebrigand waxed romantic about his artistic passion. 'Photographers seize an unusual moment to ... share,' he said. 'It is necessary of the material(equipment) special otherwise we never see him(it)!!!!'

Compare Lebrigand's Supermoon photos above to some of the images captured by professional photographers in the slideshow below. All the photos are great, but it's hard to distinguish who's the professional and who's the amateur. And be sure to visit Lebrigand's Flickr page to check out more of his fine work.

What is a Supermoon
Summer of the Supermoons
Lunar Eclipse Schedule
Solar Eclipse Schedule
Star Constellations

Also on AOL.com:
Rare lunar occultation of Saturn captured in splendid photos and video
Crew of Expedition 40 on International Space Station captures breathtaking photo of Italy

Join the discussion

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Miss Molly August 11 2014 at 12:18 PM

How neat is that? Thank you for sharing these phenomenal photos, Mr. Lebrigand!

Flag Reply +15 rate up
mgt0331 August 11 2014 at 12:24 PM

Amazing. It really shows how small we really are. All the troubles in the world are nothing compared to this.

Flag Reply +11 rate up
Wesley Johnson August 11 2014 at 1:51 PM

This is the stuff photographers live for.
Amazing photography. I particularly like the shots of the plane with the vapor trails. I didn't expect to see that.
Very cool photography.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
2 replies
idealplan Wesley Johnson August 11 2014 at 2:26 PM


Flag Reply 0 rate up
larscodish Wesley Johnson August 11 2014 at 4:50 PM

You mean very cool photo processing. Amazing photography? Taking a photo of the moon and then taking some photos of airplanes and photoshopping them togetheer is "amazing"?

Flag Reply +2 rate up
2 replies
gramargo larscodish August 11 2014 at 9:50 PM

You're accusing the photographer of lying about how he took these photos, I gather. Please do read the article and try to understand it before you make yourself look foolish.

Flag 0 rate up
Carolyn larscodish August 11 2014 at 11:06 PM

And how do you know that? Even if it was, (which I don't beleive), they are amazing photos. You don't know anything. No one has even said a word about him photso shopping these pics. Try to enjoy life.

Flag +1 rate up
lightyrs1 August 11 2014 at 12:07 PM

Le photo shoppe

Flag Reply +7 rate up
2 replies
wittlief lightyrs1 August 11 2014 at 3:06 PM

yes, a 10 yr old kid could photoshop those pictures in 60 seconds
using stock photos off the internet.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
abourge458 lightyrs1 August 12 2014 at 5:05 AM

No need. A good graphic artist could out him as a fake if he did that, and he seems to have the equipment that he'd know that. .
It'd be EASIER to be for real IF........
You happened to live on a plane flight path, and have a fair amount of low wind evenings.
(Magnified images are very sensitive to wind shake even on a tripod)
Many planes cross the moon EVERY night the moon is out in my area (near an airport.)
I've got pics near as good as his with a 10X binocular hookup and tripod.
Less work than Photoshopping AND... No fear of being found out and looking silly later!

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Daddy O August 11 2014 at 12:39 PM

I hope someday I can afford a camera and telescope like that. My wife and I visit designated dark sky areas . Someday i'm gonna get one.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
2 replies
alirae78 Daddy O August 11 2014 at 2:10 PM

I've never heard of a "designated dark sky area", but I'm guessing that I live an undesignated one. I just call it "the boonies":)

Flag Reply 0 rate up
larscodish Daddy O August 11 2014 at 4:47 PM

It would probably be less expensive to use a camera you currently have and get a good photo processing software package. That is what you are actually looking at. These photos are a product of post-photo processing.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
KIRK August 11 2014 at 1:06 PM

what's the word i'm looing for?....oh yeah--------photo shop!!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
2 replies
lisasin7 KIRK August 11 2014 at 1:25 PM

Oh no Kirk...they certainly did a few orbits around the moon. It's on the web ya know...sheeesh.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
abourge458 KIRK August 12 2014 at 7:40 AM


Flag Reply 0 rate up
LOUIE August 11 2014 at 1:10 PM

Wow . that looked great. would be a nice back round for the pc screen . thank you to the fellow who took the picture and thanks for showing it

Flag Reply +3 rate up
Joan August 11 2014 at 7:51 PM

Absolutely beautiful photos and so nice that he has shared them with the world.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
rreggaeredkc August 11 2014 at 6:40 PM

Yep, this couldn't possibly be real photos. Actually, this photographer knows how to read varying degrees of light by not always pointing the camera directly at the moon, taking a light reading then raising the camera and taking the shot. He also knows how to use an f stop! The world just can't stand it when someone knows their trade and does it well.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
Sandra August 11 2014 at 4:04 PM

Wow! What an incredible photographs! Thank you for sharing!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
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