Stunning! Then clouds moved in.


Woke up earlier than expected to see it take place.  Estimates were far off, though.  When I went outside to see whether weather had snuffed my opportunity, this is what I saw:

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My youngest came out–escorted by my wife–blinking to comprehend what I was showing him.

I watched, I wondered, and then I shot a few more photos.

And then clouds moved in:ThenCloudsMovedIn


10% Moon at 300mm (450mm effective)

Last night’s Moon was exquisite. It was at about 1-4% and barely a sliver at sunset.

I knew it’d be higher and fuller tonight, and thankfully I was blessed with a window of time to capture, process, and post.

While not frame-filling, these photos show different aspects of our nearest planetary neighbor. I never tire of looking at her, and I can enjoy the challenges of capturing her beauty for the rest of my life.

Oh.  And first post of 2014!  Happy New Year!

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Edge of light:
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Perhaps the best:
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1%–the Holy Grail!

I went out for a brief sunset tonight, looking to capture Comet PAN-STARRS.  Looking at Time and Date, I also noticed we’d have a 1% Moon.  I’d previously captured a 2% Moon, but never had the opportunity to capture the sliver.  While I didn’t see the comet (it is challenging!), the Moon was spectacular.  If our clear weather is consistent over the next few days, I might have a shot at capturing the comet, as well!


Stop It, You Two

Actually don’t stop.  I love to watch!

Over the past few days, I’ve watched the slow, sultry dance of the moon as she takes full opportunity of the pre-dawn light to get ever closer to her partner Venus.  This morning was cool and calm, and as I admired the two above, I realized that I had just enough time to mount the camera to the tripod.  Encounters, mounting, and privacy.  Was this photography or 50 Shades of Grey?


This is the second time I’ve captured the two hanging out together in the early morning sky.  The first was exactly 30 days ago!  How far have we traveled around the sun since then?  How far has the moon traveled around us as we’ve traveled around the sun?  And how many kisses have the moon and Venus shared in relative secrecy while those below (not in the Army) slept in?

Three I’ll post today.


Thoughts on Focal Length–and the Evening Moon

The moon is back after spending a week on the dark side (of itself?).
Here it is from about an hour ago:

It’s as good as I can do with my equipment.  And a tighter shot on the moon means missing out on the clouds.

I have a strong desire to go wider.  Nikon’s 20mm f/2.8 (link) is currently my lens of lust.  But it won’t get close to the moon.  This 300mm f/4 lens will, though.  However, I don’t do nearly as much moon photography as I do weather or landscape.  And I want to do more street photography, too.  A 300mm lens might be good for creeping and peeping–but I’m not into that.  A 20mm lens would be idea for indoors, walkabouts, landscape, and getting the ENTIRE STORM in one frame (rather than 3 or 5).

So perhaps the moon will have to wait.  There are hundreds (thousands) of great moon shots online.  They show the moon in stunning detail–but only the moon.  How often can I take photos of the crescent moon photos until I realize that little changes between frames?

But the weather and the streets are constantly changing.



Here it is: the thinnest moon I’ve captured.  If fortune is with me tomorrow morning, and I am able to rise before the sun, then I have a shot at capturing the impossible:  a waning 0.4% crescent.  If I had something a little longer than my 35-105mm, I’d possibly have something very, very special.

These are merely okay.

These are one of the better shots from this morning.  Three shots, full frame, and a crop of one included.  Look closely–it’s easy to miss!