Friday, March 06, 2015

A Ride to catch the Full Moon

Yesterday, the 5th of March, 2015 was when we would see the "smallest" Full Moon for the year.  Smallest, in terms of its apparent size as the moon would be at its farthest point away from the Earth in terms of orbiting position.

So Scarlett and I rode out shortly after 5PM to get into what I thought would be a good location for shooting the Moon with Scarlett in the foreground.

Results were mixed as you will see, had issues with the tripod and I have much to learn about photographing the moon!

I rode East on Quincy Road, into the nearby prairies of the Front Range to the vicinity of the junction of Quincy Road and South Manilla Road.

Looking in my rear view mirrors, I could see that although sunset was still more than a few minutes away, the colors being presented during this "golden hour" were good for pictures.

I next positioned Scarlett just off of Quincy Road on a dirt road which lead to nearby Natural Gas pumping stations.  As the sun dropped lower and lower towards the horizon, the colors got richer and richer.

Although the western sky remained "glowing" for quite some time after the sunset, I repositioned Scarlett to use the initial picture location for a compare/contrast shot:

Next, I headed East just a little bit more, turning off onto the site used by the IUOE or International Union of Operating Engineers.  I positioned Scarlett for the moon shots and pretty soon I saw the moon appear above the eastern horizon.

I was, in fact, caught unprepared and hurriedly tried using the monopod to steady my shots of the rising moon.

I then decided to deploy the tripod instead and found it was having issues "gripping" the camera properly and so had to steady it with my hand, which basically resulted in a lot of blurry shots!

61 shots later, varying the exposure compensation throughout the allowed ranges, and using both the monopod and tripod, only one shot really was usable.  I believe the moon would have come out sharper had I not had the tripod issues.  Oh well, next time.

Original image shot at F/13 for 1/4 sec. at ISO-1600 with 
no exposure bias.  The monopod was in use at this point.

Same image but with noise reduced/blurred using photoshop.

Though not visible in the pictures, the moon had to rise above a layer of clouds that clung to the eastern horison, hence the nice effect I managed to capture.

The ride home was in seemingly warm temperatures, with the thermometer reporting around 39ºF (3.8ºC).  The yellow moon seemed to chase Scarlett and I as we rode westward towards home.

Someday, I'll get good enough at shooting pics of the moon to achieve this shot without photoshop:

Photoshop, but someday, a real picture
Moon pic source: Google

Note:  the site is a good reference as to when the next Full Moon will occur, and it seems a real close sunset time occurs soon before the moon rise of the Full Moon.


Richard M said...

I really like that last photo. To really capture something like that you'd need a really long lens, and be pretty far away for both the rig and the moon to be in focus at the same time. Plus you may need some sort of illumination on the rig so it won't just be a shadow. Nice job with Photoshop!

SonjaM said...

Dom, you should offer these as downloadable wallpapers to Ural. What a beautiful scenery, and the last picture is perfect. Great job on the photoshopped one, too.

Charlie6 said...

RichardM. Yep, definitely need a longer lens to capture the scene I want...and apparently, it was just luck that I captured what I got....tried the next night, the moon didn't come out till way after dark, could not see the rig.....

SonjaM, I like the way you think! Ilya if you're reading this, the offer is there! I just want attribution, and perhaps a discount on parts... ;) Thanks to you and RichardM re the photoshop thing, just goes to show, anyone can manipulate reality.....

Trobairitz said...

That moon picture is still better than most of us could get with our cameras Dom. Good job.

Nice photoshop work too.

Charlie6 said...

Thanks Trobairitz.

Thomas Osburn said...

You could sell photos of other people's bikes photoshopped into the moon. That is a great photo. The other area really nice.

Charlie6 said...

Thanks, Thomas Osburn, but it's so easy to do for yourself....took me less than 20 minutes.