Super Moon Glow

We’re funny as humans. We love labeling everything. Somewhere, somehow, someone looked at a chart of the moon’s orbits around our head and realized this last one was going to be a bit closer. What came next, who knows, but the phrase “Super Moon” stuck. And then it grew. And grew. It stopped just short of being the next Y2K. Really? Yes, I know the moon plays significant roles in our lives, some which we may not ever understand, but why the hysteria. 

Despite the world still not coming to an end, the Super Moon did have some positive side-effects. Collectively, a large group of us stopped what we were doing and went outside, relaxed a bit, and enjoyed the beauty of the full moon. When was the last time you deliberately watched a full moon rise. So maybe the “sky-is-falling” crowd should actually be credited for helping us appreciate Mother Nature a little more.

Old sweetgum star-shaped leaves sway in the breeze as the Super Moon slowly engulfs them.

At about 3p.m. Saturday (a.k.a. Super Moon Day) I got the idea to attach my Nikon D300 to my 10″ Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. With some help from my engineer son, we modified a Nikon body cap and attached it to an optical tube and then to the telescope. The D300 looked like a Chihuahua strapped to a Clydesdale. The clarity wasn’t great, but acceptable. The above photo is NOT cropped. That was the entire camera frame. All I can say is, ‘I still want to see the flag and lunar buggy.’ I’ll leave it at that. 😉

In Hollywood when the budget is tight, there’s a shortcut way to shoot a night scene called “Day-for-Night”. Essentially they stop down the aperture of the movie camera until very little light is getting through. They then film the scenes outside under daylight, but the exposure makes it (kinda) look like night. If you watch old Westerns you can find this technique often.

We, my son and I, were photographing the moon, sorry, Super Moon, rising with this tree. We had taken several shots and were wrapping up when I realized the tree was casting a shadow. Yes, a shadow. I set up the tripod and exposed this image for 53 seconds. I offer to you a “Night-for-Day” image. 🙂 Does it look like day or night to you?

This is my favorite image from the evening. It looks like the sun, yet there are stars visible above. This was all created in the camera and incorporated very simple techniques. The total exposure time was 58 seconds. I will be featuring this image along with dozens more in my Night Photography eClass coming up soon.

Did you photograph the Super Moon? Leave me a comment below. I’d really enjoy hearing from you!

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