Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Stalking the super moon

17 Comments

Sunday night's moon.

Sunday’s moon.


Let’s just call this a good lesson in what not to do while trying to get that perfect shot of a huge moon rising up from the pumpkin patch. Oh wait. That’s a different story.

The super moon sort of snuck up on me, even though we’d been told about it daily for at least a week. Suddenly it was Sunday and I hadn’t looked up any instructions on how to shoot a great image. I figured I’d wing it, using things I’d learned about shooting stars.

Moving up into Sunday's sky

Moving up into Sunday’s sky

Right. Never wing something that only occurs every 18 years. Especially when you’re already 60. I never did get it right, though, while messing with white balance I did get a gray image that was pretty sharp.

Different white balance on Sunday night.

Different white balance on Sunday night.

So Sunday night I went home and read some articles online. I put the manual settings into the camera prior to heading out into the dark. I had good intentions.

A little cloudy Monday evening.

A little cloudy Monday evening.

Monday evening the moon came up more than 45 minutes later than Sunday night. Plus the library was open, so there were lots of parking lot lights to contend with. AND the moon came up much further to the north on Monday.

So far to the north that at first we thought it had been obscured by clouds, and we packed stuff up and headed to the car. During the walk down the hill I glanced over my shoulder and saw it, right above the library!

Super moon over library.

Super moon over library.

I tried a lot of different shutter speeds and found out that the faster it moved the sharper the image when it was just the moon.

Golden orange moon Monday night.

Golden orange moon Monday night.

The clouds shifted, moved over the moon, then moved again setting it free. The moon grew more golden, though it still came out orange in my camera.

It was a dark and cloudy night.

It was a dark and cloudy night.

I tried and tried to get a true color, trying all the white balance options, but though I got one shot that was more black and grey, otherwise they were just shades of orange. Eventually the moon was high and my fingers were cold, so I gave up and went home. Some of the images are nice, but none of them are what I actually saw.

Clouds move in.

Clouds move in.

So more lessons must be learned, more studying needs to be done. And I need another clear night with a beautiful moon so that I can try it again.

I can’t say the evenings were total failures — after all I got to spend two nights under a beautiful super moon.

Really, I can’t complain.

Goodnight moon.

Goodnight moon.

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Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

17 thoughts on “Stalking the super moon

  1. To my eye, you did just great, but there’s always more to learn isn’t there?

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  2. This had me chuckling out loud in commiseration. It reminds me of the post I made about trying to photograph the lunar eclipse last year.

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    • I forgot to add, the photo with the wispy clouds in front of the moon turned out pretty neat.

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      • I had trouble with the lunar eclipse too. Then my husband shot a picture using his phone and it came out way better than anything I had managed to get. Sigh.

        I liked the wispy clouds last night too. All the clouds in the sky were interesting. I couldn’t get them to show AND the moon to look right. Ah well….another time maybe.

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  3. I think you’re being too hard on yourself — these shots are gorgeous, and the wispy clouds just add to the Super Moon’s mystique! I, too, tried, but the outcome of my efforts isn’t nearly as pretty as yours. Be glad you’ve only got 16 more years to get the technique down before the next Super Moon shows up!!

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  4. That moon was something else
    Lily & Edward

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  5. These are wonderful- I love the one with the clouds. I think you did great 🙂

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  6. These shots are wonderful and much better than what we came up with. Moving up into Sunday sky is very nice. It was hard shot to take with the mixture of clouds and noise from the lights. I did think the clouds added an air of mystery.

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    • Those particular clouds, more heavy and defined moved in just as we were leaving. I liked them a lot. Of course what I imagined, a clear sharp moon and dense clouds didn’t quite come out..but it was still cool.

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  7. I think you did a fabulous job. I especially like the moon with the clouds. It’s a funny thing but I’ve found that using my old Kodak point and shoot, with flash turned on, gives me the best shots of the moon if I’m not going to use my tripod.

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  8. My favorite is the one with the clouds too. My cellphone camera wouldn’t cooperate at all:( Although I’ve seen that you can take a selfie through a roll of toilet paper and it makes it appear that your face is the moon… I might try that!

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    • Bruce’s cell wouldn’t work either, but I have a friend who is into astronomy who took a FABULOUS shot of the super moon with her cell and some sort of attachment to it. Amazing what can be done with small cameras now.

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