Image of Full Moon Through a Rock Formation Looks Like a Giant Eye

Image of Full Moon Through a Rock Formation Looks Like a Giant Eye

Full Moon Eye

A full Moon forms an eye as it peers through the North Window Arch at Arches National Park in Utah. 

Elliot McGucken from Los Angeles created a beautiful composite image that was taken at the North Window Arch at Arches National Park in Utah. 

“To me, the arch looked like a perfect eye from a certain angle, and all it needed was the perfect round eyeball—a full moon,” he says. 

“I took the photograph at the perfect angle to emphasize the arch’s ‘eye shape’ at dusk.” 

Full Moon Eye


McGucken took the photo, which he calls Desert Eye, on a Fuji GFX100s medium format camera and it received almost one million likes on Instagram after he posted it on May 17. 

“The reaction to the photograph has been wonderful and quite overwhelming, and I am thankful for the millions of folks who have liked, commented on, and simply enjoyed Desert Eye.” 

Full Moon Eye


The Arches National Park in Utah has more than 2,000 natural stone arches and PetaPixel has previously featured photographer Zach Cooley who got a very similar shot back in 2020 but his had a few people climbing the rock arch. 

At the time, Cooley told PetaPixel that he used “multiple apps” to plan his shot including PlanIt!, The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE), and PhotoPills. 

“They all allow for figuring out the position of the moon, but each one has different advantages, and I also like to cross-reference for shots like this,” he told PetaPixel’s Phil Mistry. 

Full Moon Eye

Talented Photographer 


McGucken is a prolific photographer who regularly updates his Instagram and website with breathtaking landscapes, seascapes, and wildlife shots. 

He is also a physicist, experimenting with science themes in his photos creating light cones that represent how light moves through space over time. 

He had been featured on PetaPixel before, in 2019 he penned an article about the highly unusual photos he took of a flooded Death Valley. 

More of McGucken’s work can found on his Instagram and website. 


Update: The first version of this article stated that the image was a real photo. After publication it came to our attention that it is in fact a composite. An agency error caused us to believe, wrongly, that the image was a true photo. However, the photographer Elliot McGucken has been in touch with PetaPixel to clarify that it is a composite image. At no point did he ever attempt to mask that fact. We apologize sincerely for the mistake. 

For a nearly identical photo that did require a significant amount of planning, check out photographer Zach Cooley’s photograph that went viral in 2020. 


Image credits: All photos by Elliot McGucken/Animal News Agency. 

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