What the . . .???

Today, Tisen and I are on a mission.  I’ve often said I wanted to go to the training hills some morning when I wasn’t flying in order to shoot.  Today seems like the perfect day for that.

My plan is to arrive at the entrance to the training hills no later than 7:00AM so I have time to hike down the gravel road and get set up before sunrise.

As Tisen and I get on the highway, I have a clear view of the full moon.  It’s still too high to make an interesting shot, but I want to shoot it before it sets completely.

Now I’m racing the moon.  Each time we go up a hill, the moon disappears behind the mountains.  I watch it set over a ridge on 4 separate occasions during our drive, only to reappear moments later.

As we enter Trenton, the moon is close to the ridge and I’m sure I’m out of time.  But as I drive on down into the valley towards our destination, the moon rises up above the ridge, giving me more time.

Unfortunately, I pull over where there’s a bad angle.  I hop out of the van, grab the tripod from the back and run up the road about 100 feet or so where the angle is better.  I set up the tripod and run back to the van.  Fortunately, my 100-400mm lens with the 1.4x teleconverter is already on my camera because that’s the only way it fits in my backpack.  I run back to the tripod.  The moon is getting closer to the ridge line; it’s already sunk behind some of the topmost trees.

As I get into position, I realize I didn’t grab my glasses or loupe and I don’t have time to get them.  I turn on live view, enlarge the image, and stand back as far as my arms will let me to try to focus.

The moon keeps sinking rapidly.  I fire off as many shots as I can before it disappears.  When I play them back in my viewfinder, I think they look OK.

Much later, when I view my moonset shots on the big screen of my computer with my glasses on, I almost spit a mouthful of beer on my screen.  I didn’t realize my vision was quite that bad!

Besides not having focused properly, I also had too slow a shutter speed so I’m getting movement blur in the moon.  I also have had some movement in the lens.  I don’t recall it being that windy, but that’s a possibility.

This leads to the age old question:  you’ve blown the shot, now what do you do with it?  I probably should just delete these images, but I decide to see how far photo editing can go.  I used Aperture, Photomatix, Lightroom, and Photoshop Elements (the majority are from the latter) to see just what can be done with a completely blown shot of the setting moon.


3 responses to “What the . . .???

  1. Pingback: Spectator | nomadicmainstream

  2. Pingback: Here Comes the Moon Again | nomadicmainstream

  3. Pingback: Uphill Battle | nomadicmainstream

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s