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Posts Tagged ‘full moon’

One of my faithful viewers, Jet Eliot, commented on a recent posting that she was glad to get some views of the wildlife refuge where I take so many of my photos. (Jet has a wonderful blog that focuses on travel and wildlife adventures that is definitely worth checking out.) The problem is not that I don’t take shots of Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, it is simply that I get so excited about posting photos of the wildlife that I forget about the more static shots of the land and water.

Here are a few shot of the refuge from this past Monday that help give you a better idea of the environment in which I am operating. The first image shows you what part of the shoreline at the refuge looks like during low tide. The refuge is located where Occoquan Bay meets the Potomac River and during tidal surges, some of the shoreline paths are underwater. Those surges tend to bring lots of debris onto the shore, including trash, like the beer bottle that you can see in the photo.

The second shot gives you an idea of how close some of the trees are to the shore. After big storms, downed trees often block some of the paths. As you probably noticed, there was a full moon visible that morning as the sun was rising and adding a little color in the sky.

The final image shows one of the streams that runs through the refuge. It is not unusual to see herons or ducks in these streams and at certain times, when I am really lucky, I have managed to spot muskrats, beavers, and otters.

So that is a brief introduction to “my” wildlife refuge. I used to most of my shooting at another nearby location, Huntley Meadows Park, but it became really popular and crowded. I prefer the solitude of this location—I am overjoyed sometimes when I arrive at the refuge and find that my car is the only one in parking lot.

Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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How did you spend your New Year’s Day? When I arrived yesterday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, the sun had just risen. I was a bit shocked to see four other cars in the parking lot, given that it was only 7:30 in the morning. I trudged about the refuge all day (and have a bunch of photos to sort through) and as I departed at 6:00 pm, the full moon was rising.

It was a long, tiring day, but I can’t think of anything I would rather have been doing to start off the new year.  Just for fun, I’m also including the view from inside my car as I got ready to step out into the crisp morning air. I am not sure it was actually 5 degrees outside ( minus 15 degrees C), but that was what my car showed as the outside temperature. Eventually it “warmed up” to about 24 degrees (minus 5 C) during the day, though the occasional gusts of wind made it feel colder.

sunrise

moonrise

cold

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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As I drove through the gates at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge this past Friday, a thick fog (or mist) was hanging low over the fields. The sun was just beginning to rise and it was still pretty dark. Although my goal for the day was to photograph birds, I decided to make an attempt at capturing the feeling of the moment and quickly realized the difficulty of that task—it’s a real challenge to capture the delicate nuances of light and shadows and the subtle shades of the rising sun when there is so little available light.

I felt a bit uncomfortable as I was shooting these images, a clear indication that I was way outside of my comfort zone, but I think it is good to try new approaches and subjects in order for me to keep on growing and learning as a photographer.

 

misty morning

autumn mist

autumn path

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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I think that tonight is officially the “super moon,” but the weather forecasters predict that it will be cloudy. Knowing this, I went out last night (and again this morning) to get some shots of the almost super moon.

I learned a couple of things from this experience. First, it’s not too hard to get shots of the moon in the sky. If I am going to be shooting the moon with any regularity, I need to scout out some locations so that I can get shots of the moon rising over the mountains or over the water.

Secondly, I learned that the visible features on the moon change their apparent positions over the course of a single night. If I had had any basic lessons in astronomy, I would probably have known this already, but this revelation came to me when I was comparing the shots that I took last night with those that I took this morning. I took the first shot below at 8:02 pm (20:02 hrs) last night and the second shot at 5:38 this morning. When you compare the photos, you can see that distinctive land features are in different locations.

almost super moon

Moon at 8:02 in the evening of 13 November 2016

Moon 5:38 in the morning of 14 November 2016

Moon at 5:38 in the morning of 14 November 2016

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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The full moon was bright and beautiful early yesterday morning, when I arrived at Huntley Meadows Park as the sun was just beginning to rise.

I struggled a little, trying to figure out the best way to capture the moon. Should I show the moon against the black night sky? Should I show merely its reflection? Should I show it as an element of a larger composition?

Here are some of my attempts to show the full moon in the predawn light at my local marsh.

Green Heron

Green Heron in the moonlight

Full moon in the night sky

Full moon in the night sky

reflections of a full moon

Reflections of a full moon

full moon

Moon over the marsh

 

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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The moon was shining brightly in my neighborhood this morning at 6:00, just a few days after the full moon.

moon_april_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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The moon looked amazing at 7:00 this morning when I went out to get my newspaper from my front steps. It was still dark and in the opposite direction, the sun was just beginning to rise. I rushed back into the house, put some socks on my sandaled feet, and ran outside with my camera to get some shots.

I used the longest lens that I have, a Sigma 135-400mm lens, and leaned it against the roof of a parked car to stabilize it.  I was surprised at the detail that I managed to capture of the craters near the dark side of the moon. (I think the full moon was a few nights ago.) Click on the photo to see it in higher resolution.

moon_19Jan_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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