Been away for a while......

May 08, 2020  •  3 Comments

Been away for a while from publishing on my blog. Sorry about that if you've stopped by and expected some news.

I'm going to start out with a story I promised to tell about my latest experience attempting to get shots of our last super moon for 2020, the Milk Moon. I like to be prepared before any shoot and read up on what I'm going to be shooting. Please note the word PREPARED. It will become very important!! This time was moon shots. Well, moon shots require, manual focus, low ISO 100, because the moon is so bright, at least F11 aperture, at least 1/125 shutter speed, on a tripod, and remote shutter release, if possible.

It's always nice to have some sort of foreground to make the shot more interesting than just the moon. So I drove out a ways to the east from my house on a dirt road to higher ground to at least get a horizon not blocked by houses and trees like it was at my house.

The spot I chose was pretty open, with just one very large house to my right with no lights on. I got out of my car, of course, looking carefully before I stepped down to make sure no SNAKES were also out for the moon. Set up my tripod, went back for my camera with a very heavy 100-400mm lens attached, and attempted to place it on the tripod. I could not get it to snap to the plate on my tripod and after several tries and considering handheld shots, which of course was completely out of the question due to the low light, I suddenly remembered I had brought another plate in the small bag where I keep both plates and tools for tightening.  The other plate worked perfectly.

So, I'm all set up, waiting for the moonrise at 8:20. While waiting I turned toward the mountains behind me and saw some pretty color in the sky and took a couple of shots with a nice silhouette, changing the settings a little to compensate for the difference in light. After playing around in Lightroom, upping the shadows, decreasing the highlights, it came out pretty decent.

So, while still waiting for the moon to rise I hear many dogs, large sounding dogs begin to bark nearby. I mean really bark and growling loudly, and at one point I could have sworn I heard heavy panting. But, of course, I did not have a flashlight with me. Remember that word PREPARED? So I actually got back in my car with my tripod and camera outside, waiting for the pack to arrive near my door, which they never did, but it scared the daylights out of me. Oh, and forgot to mention, I also heard footsteps coming in my direction, but it turned out just to be someone walking down the road and quietly passed when I said hi! Sheesh!! I think someone finally quieted the PACK, and I was able to pay attention to the start of the moon rise.

Here's the first of the light coming to the sky.

At this point, I took a lot of shots as the sky was changing and started to see the moon and realizing my ISO was wayyyyyy off, not enough for light which made my shutter speed too slow. Also, at this point I thought I remembered I had set the lens to manual focus, so tried to look at my lens, but of course couldn't read it in the dim light, and PREPARED person that I am, I had no flashlight or headlight. So I took my phone out to illuminate it but didn't really succeed with that. Story short, not enough light for me to see the settings on the lens and had difficulty getting my menu to come up on my LCD screen to change my ISO as needed. When the moon was behind the clouds I had to raise my ISO, when it came out I had to lower it, keeping my shutter speed at 1/125m, focusing manually, I was finally able to get some decent shots of which I made into a collage. I don't think my focus was set to manual because my first shots of the mountains look really sharp. I think the first few shots of the moon rising were blurry because of the shutter speed.

So, that's my story.....not scary, just the result of NOT being prepared with flashlight/headlight, to go out into the desert, alone, at night to photograph something.



Darryl Antarr
Absolutely gorgeous!!!
Love the stages of the moon against such a haunting sky and dramatic back story.!!
Sandy Aubin(non-registered)
You are so brave to go out without Rob!! Those dogs would have scared me all the way home!! Your photos turned out lovely!
Kathi Wright(non-registered)
They turned out beautifully I think. That is pretty funny. All in all - at least in hindsight. I am glad they were no dogs, snakes, chupacabras, or alien encounters. ♥️
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