präməˈnād,ˌpräməˈnäd – noun
1. a paved public walk, typically one along a waterfront at a resort.
The full “Blue” moon of July 31, 2015 rises over Lake Michigan, behind the Kewaunee, WI lighthouse as people enjoy an early evening walk along the pier.
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Distorted by the light-bending qualities of earth’s atmosphere, the full moon rising took on a redish-orange color and an unusual shape as it ascended above the Lake Michigan horizon, behind the Kewaunee, Wisconsin lighthouse and pier.
I would love to get more definition in the features of the moon, but at that low angle, the surface just seems like an undulating mass of mush.
I took several photos this evening. Check back to see more…soon, I hope.
After a long and, no doubt, exhausting night of work, It appeared as if this beautiful, full moon settled in among the trees for a short rest. Of course, only for a moment before it eventually moved on.
I was out in the very cold, very early morning yesterday to photograph the moon as it set. I took this photo, standing by my garage door, looking to the west across the road, beyond the farm field to a stand of trees some distance away.
Tough to get this shot without a lot of digital noise. This one didn’t turn out too bad. At least, good enough to share.
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This was an August full moon. The small lights you see on the horizon are fishing boats out on the lake. I took this photo from the beach with a large zoom lens.
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This full moon was settling behind the trees as a flock of birds (not bats) flew through the scene.
Because of the full moon, you’d naturally assume this photo was taken at night. In fact, it was taken at 7:06 am. Even more ironic – I was out that morning trying to catch a nice sunrise at Algoma. The sun didn’t cooperate, but while waiting for it, I noticed the full moon going down and focused my attention, and camera, there. As I was framing up the shot, a flock of sea gulls entered the frame…so, of course, I clicked.
For those who are familiar with Algoma, this shot was taken in the parking lot of the Algoma Youth Center…down by the lake shore…facing west, over the city.
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This is the Kewaunee, Wisconsin pier and lighthouse, on the western shore of Lake Michigan.
A pessimist might look at this moon and say it was half-empty. An optimist, on the other hand, would see it as half-full. It was, indeed a full moon, partially obscured by clouds.
If you read the previous post, you know how difficult getting the right full moon shot can be. This was taken the night before the Algoma Night Lights shot. This one wasn’t as bad, but it wasn’t the ideal shoot either. Again, I started out at the wrong spot – too far south – to include the moon and the lighthouse in the same shot. by the time I got in a suitable location, the moon started to slip behind some clouds. This was as much of the moon as I got. Each consecutive shot shows less and less until it’s gone.
The best shot of this moon was actually captured through the trees in my back yard after I returned home. Check out my previous post: Mystic Moon
To see a larger version of the above image, click on it.
This is an image of the Algoma, WI lighthouse before a full moon. I captured it last weekend. It is not at all what I was going for and there was a lot of scrambling and experimenting to get anything worth viewing.
I knew there would be a full moon this night, so I planned on trying to line up a nice shot of the rising moon near the lighthouse. I arrived at my chosen vantage point early and waited. The moon would rise about a half-hour after the sunset. I knew that would make the shoot a bit difficult, because the last remnants of daylight might not be enough to keep the light of the moon from overpowering the scene. That would be an issue, but there were plenty of others. Fasten your seat belts, the fun is just about to begin.
The moment the slightest indication of the moon was visible on the horizon, it was obvious I was in the wrong spot – too far south. The moon was too far to the right of the lighthouse to fit both in the frame.
I quickly packed up my camera and tripod and tried to locate a better vantage point. I decided to try the bridge over the Ahnapee – the river that leads to the harbor, thinking it would be sweet to catch the moon’s reflection spanning from the harbor, down the river. I parked my van on the closest street, Navarino, and grabbed my equipment, running to the bridge. Onlookers from a restaurant/bar on that corner watched with curiosity as I dashed by. I’m running because time is of the essence. Conditions are growing darker and the moon is on it’s way up – moving faster than you’d think. The closer I can catch it to the horizon, the better my image.
When I reached the bridge and spot the moon, I realized I had gone too far north. The moon was now too far to the left of the lighthouse. I scrambled back to the van and ended up at the marina – the only location where the moon would line up near the lighthouse.
I didn’t want to be at the marina because it was too close to get the perspective I wanted. The farther away I could be from the subject (the lighthouse), the larger the moon would appear in the shot. So, I tried to get the shot from the farthest corner of the marina parking lot. From that spot, I was too low to capture any reflection off the water in the foreground of the lighthouse. To get higher, I threw my tripod up on the roof of my minivan and climbed up there to set up and focus in. (It’s an old van. I’m not going to hurt it.)
The first shot from on top of my van was dreadful. The light from the parking lot’s mercury vapor lights was creating a bright orange haze on the image – even though no parking lot lights could be seen in the frame. I packed up the equipment, jumped down, moved the van closer, clambered back up and tried again. The parking lot lights still clouded the image.
I packed up and jumped down, ran to the edge of the parking lot closest to the lighthouse and set up my tripod. That would put the parking lot lights behind and directly above me. That eliminated the orange effect from my view. However, it had become dark enough that I couldn’t see the lighthouse in the photo – just the red light and moon. I could adjust the camera settings to brighten up the lighthouse, but that would have made the moon so bright it would overwhelm the scene. I tried another camera setting that allows for a bit more dynamic range, but it wasn’t enough.
How was I going to overcome this problem? An idea occurred to me. I ran back to where my van was parked and moved it to near where I was shooting from, facing toward the harbor. I turned the headlights on, creating enough light to give the lighthouse and pier some definition. The last piece of the puzzle fell into place as the moon ascended into the cloud bank, taking it’s brightness down a bit, which helped to bring more balance to the three visible lights.
After all that, honestly, I’m not all that excited with the final result. That’s the way it works sometimes. The image is interesting, the moon in the clouds is kind of cool, but the entire scene has an unnatural look to it. On top of that, there’s enough digital noise in this frame to choke a horse; even after I processed the heck out of it.
I debated for a week, whether to post this one. I decided, if I shared the story behind the image, it would make it a worthwhile post. Often, there’s a whole lot more to getting a great image than just pointing the camera and pushing a button. For every great photo you see, there were plenty that – despite good equipment, photographic skill and extraordinary effort – just never panned out.
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Someone asked me if I got any good pictures of the recent full moon. On Friday night, I was at the harbor in Kewaunee, trying to catch the full moon rising next to the lighthouse. On Saturday night, I was in Algoma, trying to catch the full moon rising next to the lighthouse. Both were not as successful as I had hoped. Trying to line up the moon in proximity to a specific landmark can be a challenge – not to mention clouds, other obstacles and lighting issues.
In the end, this was the best moon shot I took…from my own back yard. This was from Friday night after I came home from my disappointing time in Kewaunee, where low clouds were a hindrance. At this point, the moon had risen above a band of lower clouds but still had a slight haze around it.
You can view a larger version by clicking on the image.