Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘full moon’

Did you look up at the moon last night? I think that technically the full moon is tonight, but the moon was bright and spectacular around 8:30 in the evening when I took two steps out of my house and captured this image from my front landing.

I have been particularly pensive this week, a Holy Week that is unlike any other that I have experienced. It is a time when we commemorate suffering and sacrifice done on our behalf out of love. There is a lot of that same suffering and sacrifice taking place  all around us right now as collectively we try to deal with this virus. The challenges seem immense, but I felt reassurance when I looked up at that almost full moon last night and thought of some verses from the Psalms (Psalm 8: 3-4 (NIV)).

“When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?”

Stay safe and healthy, all of you.

full moon

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

I got up early yesterday morning to try to capture a sunrise here in Paris. The sunrise was pretty much a bust, but on the way to my location, I captured this image of a full moon over some shadowy Parisian roofs.

It is always tricky to take a shot of a full moon—the camera wants to overexpose the moon, leaving a glowing white circle. In order to get the moon looking right. I usually have to underexpose the image by a couple of stops, which leaves the content of the rest of the subject barely visible. I hope that you can just see the curve of the domed roof to the left of the moon and a roof with some chimney pipes just below the moon.

I was hoping to have more time to take additional photos, but as I made adjustments to my camera, the moon disappeared in the clouds and quickly dropped lower on the horizon.

moon in Paris

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

 

Read Full Post »

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.

 

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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.

 

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

I didn’t go to a lot of trouble to set up a really cool backdrop, but did manage to get a shot yesterday evening of the supermoon. It was amazing to see how much light it put off and I had no trouble handholding my camera to take a shot, even with my 135-400mm zoom lens. I decided to add a little visual interest to the shot by shooting the moon with the shadowy outline of an electrical tower of some kind in the foreground.

moon1_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

This is as close as I can get to showing you what the full moon looked like to me last night, with an orange tinged glow surrounding it. The image includes some tree branches on the right side of the photo in a mostly futile effort effort to frame the moonlit sky.

Last night I posted a photo that showed the moon and the clouds, but I wasn’t satisfied that it represented really well what my eyes had seen. So I went over the images again that I shot and came across this one. It required a bit of tweaking in Photoshop Elements to tone down the really bright light of the moon, but I had managed to capture some of the details of both the moon and the clouds.

I shot quite a few photos as I searched for a combination of f-stop and shutter speed that would capture the moment. This one was shot at f20 with a shutter speed of .8 seconds and was overexposed. Some of the other shots with faster shutter speeds rendered the moon well, but the sky was black and no amount of tweaking could bring out the clouds. Longer exposures, on the other hand, resulted in beautiful clouds, but the moon was a perfect circle that was pure white and, again, I couldn’t tweak the settings to get details.

As I was shooting, the light kept changing as the moon moved in and out of the clouds, which complicated my efforts. Learning from my previous efforts to shoot in the dark, though, I had a small flashlight with me to assist me as I repeatedly changed the settings on my camera.

I’m a little more content with this photo than the other one that I posted of the full moon but that doesn’t mean that I won’t be outside again this evening experimenting further with capturing this tricky subject.

moon2_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

The full moon tonight was so bright that I had trouble getting the right exposure to capture it and also the light reflected on the clouds. I got some nice shots of the clouds, but the moon was a solid white orb and I got nice shots of the moon, but the clouds were invisible. Here is a shot in which both of the elements are visible, although I didn’t catch entirely well the glow surrounding the moon. I’ll have another chance next month.

moon_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

I knew that yesterday was the day of the full moon, so I was disappointed to see that it was already pretty high in the sky when I was driving home from work. I was surprised and pleased this morning as I was taking out the trash to see that the moon was out and was really bright. I rushed into the house, grabbed my camera and tripod and took some initial shots. I must confess that these are the first outdoor shots that I have taken in my slippers. My exposures were not right when I looked at the images on the computer, so I made some adjustments and rushed back outdoors. I blindly set the camera on manual and made some guesses on appropriate settings. I went through that cycle twice more before I got an image that I judged was ok. It’s not perfect (I need to experiment some more on settings), but it looks reasonably close to what my eyes were seeing a few short minutes ago.

Full moon in November

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

The late afternoon sun was still illuminating the top of trees today in my neighborhood as the moon began to rise. According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the full moon will be on Wednesday the 28th of November.  November’s full Moon (also called the Full Frost Moon) traditionally was called the Beaver Moon because it was the time to set beaver traps, before the waters of the swamps froze over.

November moonrise

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: