Monday, May 7, 2012

Super Moon 2nd Posting - May 5, 2012

Well, the weather turned out to be decent last night. Clear with just a few high thin clouds. I'm not that happy with the results, though. Maybe the air wasn't quite as clear, the moon was a little lower in the sky, maybe I didn't focus as well - don't know but the contrast wasn't as good between the darker and brighter spots as the other night. I've speculated before that a full moon is harder to photograph than a waning or waxing moon because of the angle that the sunlight is hitting the surface of the moon. Let's attribute it to that - definitely could not have been operator error. Anyway here is my best shot of the evening.

This was shot within a few minutes of the perigee according to the local news service.

The other challenge that I haven't figured out is how to get clouds and moon at the same time. For a period there were some high thin clouds near the moon that would have added interest. However, for the life of me I could not capture both at the same time. Either the clouds were visible in the capture and the moon was blown out or the moon was well exposed and the clouds were invisible. There may be a couple of effects going on.

First, the eye has a much larger dynamic range than the camera. We can easily perceive both the bright moon and the much dimmer clouds at the same time. Maybe there was too much absolute difference in brightness to capture both. To my eye it didn't seem that way, though.

That leads me to speculate about a second possible reason. The clouds were thin and seemed translucent. They are obviously much closer to the camera than the moon. I wonder if I was seeing the window screen or chain link fence effect. When you are shooting through a screen or fence and you  focus on a subject well beyond the screen, the screen can more or less disappear from the photograph because it is so out of focus. Any thoughts on this? Please use the comment section if you can give me any tips on how to capture both.

Here's my first posting on the Super Moon.

Earlier Super Moon Posting     <----  Click Here

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