Blue Moon

There’s nothing really unique about a Blue Moon other than it happens to be the second  full Moon to fall within one calendar month. But there’s something magical about a full Moon no matter when it happens.  It evokes a sense of wonder and awe hanging there in the sky. This particular Blue Moon seemed a little more special as I reflected on the first Moon walk by Neil Armstrong who recently passed away. It was hard not to think about that Apollo 11 mission, imagining what it must be like up there in space and what an incredible view looking back so far from Earth! When the Blue Moon rose Friday night there was a haze on the horizon so it wasn’t visible until well after actual Moon rise. We chose a spot on the lake where we would have an open, clear view.  It wasn’t as picturesque as I had hoped, none-the less, the moon was still beautiful hanging low in the sky…

Shortly after the Moon broke through the horizon haze

A couple of things to remember when you’re shooting the moon: Use a tripod, that’s a no brainer. I’m a hand-held shooter mostly because I’m lazy and I hate lugging around my tripod but you can’t shoot after dark without one. Turn off your image stabilizer and use the mirror lock up if you have it on your camera. The stabilization is redundant when you’re using a tripod and can add blur caused by the stabilizing mechanism action. The mirror lock up prevents the mirror from opening and closing and can additionally reduce vibration. A remote shutter release is great if you have one, if not you can set the timer to avoid the chance of slight camera vibration from pressing the shutter. You probably won’t be able to use auto focus in the dark and even if you can, the camera/lens searching for a focal point can get pretty annoying. Better to just go old school, switch it off and manually focus the camera. You can use the infinity focus method – in manual mode, set the focus ring to infinity then back it off slightly.

Moonlight Reflection

There was a group of kayakers getting ready for a moonlight trip. All the kayaks had lights on them and it was pretty cool watching the group head up the arm of the lake into the darkness with only the moonlight  behind them..The lights on the water to the left are the kayaks. I like the plane trails too.

Off on a moonlit kayak trip

We hung out at the lake in the dark experimenting for a while. Have you ever tried to focus on nothing in the dark? Kind of a crap shoot.  Here’s the result of a 30 second exposure, f16, focusing blindly. I mostly used the infinity focus method  but this one I focused on the light of the moon. It’s still hard to tell what you’re going to get either way since it’s so difficult to see anything through the viewfinder or live view!

What I’m listening to:

Walking On The Moon ~ The Police

Man On The Moon ~ R.E.M.

Mr. Moonlight ~ The Beatles

Moonshadow ~ Cat Stevens

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