The full moon staged a dramatic entrance near the Kewaunee, WI lighthouse on Friday, July 15, 2011.
It was the first night of Kewaunee’s annual Trout Festival. I had scouted out the area and selected a spot to take photos of the upcoming fireworks show. While waiting, the moon slowly emerged from the horizion – starting out to the left of the lighthouse and moving directly behind the lighthouse and beyond, as you can see.
I was excited to be able to be in the perfect spot to catch the two together. There was one spoiler, though. The pier to the lighthouse happens to be the site of the fireworks launch. The technicians putting on the fireworks show were on the pier, as were their vehicles and equipment. Photoshop to the rescue!
The image to the right is the original, untouched, photo that I snapped. The moon and lighthouse together still make a cool image, but I thought they would be better without the distracting clutter. It took a little time to digitally clear the pier, but I think the final product was worth it.
Feel free to leave a comment and give me your opinion.
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To see a larger version of the main image, simply click on it.
The folks who attended the 2011 Kewaunee Trout Festival enjoyed two spectacular displays…the fireworks show and a full moon.
I positioned myself at nearly surface level with the Kewaunee harbor in order to capture the reflection off the water. I think the reflections are as appealing as any other part of the images. In fact, I’m considering combining a number of the firework reflections to create a colorful image of its own.
This was my first opportunity to capture fireworks with my Sony SLT-A55V. I wish the fireworks show was a few hours long, rather than a few minutes. I need that kind of time to really experiment with settings and angles, etc.
For my photography friends, here are some of the specifics… Of course, I had the camera on a tripod, had it in manual mode, on the “Bulb” setting and used a remote trigger…F/11.0, ISO 200, 13-seconds, 28.0 mm.
I’m pleased with a number of the images I captured and will be posting more, so check back. Or, better yet, just subscribe to the RSS Feed.
Both of these images (especially the smaller one) are better when bigger – so click them to see a larger view.
I’ve been working to get a good shot of the moon. My previous attempts have been OK, but not as sharp as I thought they should be. (See That’s Amore!) I figured out the problem and am fairly pleased with this one.
First I mount my Sony SLT-A55 on a tripod. To get a closer view I use a 300mm zoom lens. Even with the lens magnification, it requires quite a bit of cropping to enlarge the image. I switch the camera to manual focus. My camera also has a setting that allows me to enlarge the image in the viewfinder or LCD screen to really hone in on the focus. I also use the 2-second timer on the camera so that I’m not shaking the camera by pressing the shutter button.
I thought the problem was the inexpensive tripod I was using – that it wasn’t stable enough. I also thought it could be a limitation with the lens, since the one I own would fall under the “budget” category. One other possibility was the UV filter – a clear filter used mainly to protect the lens.
It turned out to be the UV filter. I took a couple of shots with a new, solid tripod and things looked the same as with the flimsy tripod. Then I removed the UV filter and saw an immediate difference. The photo above is the result. Looks like I’ll have to invest a little more in a better UV filter.
The smaller image gives you a perspective of the size of the moon in the actual image the camera captures. Then I enlarge the view by cropping it to fill more of the frame.
(Click on either photo to see a larger version.)
This was the moon over our house on Saturday night, March 19, 2011. This is the night the moon was closest to the earth (Parigee) an event that happens every 18 to 20 years. This year’s Parigee coincided with a full moon, so I had to take a shot at capturing it.
It was a lot more difficult than I thought and, in actuality, I’m a little disappointed it didn’t turn out better. I learned a few things in the process. I spent a lot of trial-and-error time on aperture and shutter settings.
The most important piece of knowledge gained was that my 300mm lens focuses to infinity and beyond. (Not a good thing.) Because the moon is way out there, you should be able to set the focal length at “infinity” – the very end of it’s range – to focus on distant objects. However when you go to the end of the zoom range on my lens, things get blurry. It’s a subtle blur, not noticeable in the viewfinder. Even at 300mm zoom, the moon is still a small spot in the view finder. I really couldn’t see the blur until I viewed it on my computer screen.
Even after I figured it out and pulled the focus in a smidge, it’s not as sharp as I would like, but I think it’s the best I could get with my equipment and the atmospheric conditions at the time.
Sadly, a bunch of nice shots of this moon rising near the Kewaunee Lighthouse were ruined because I didn’t see the beyond-infinity-blur until I got home.
(Click the image for a larger version.)
The moon has been beautiful the last few days. I was finally able to capture a shot about 6:30 this morning as it was slowly slipping behind the trees. I was set up on my driveway, shooting across the farm field west of our home.
The moon was so bright, you can see where it melted the snow. (Of course, I’m just kidding.)
I was using my 300mm lens and had my Sony SLT-A55 on a tripod.