I’ve been tinkering with this several-years-old photo for some time now. It was taken right at sunset, from a ship in the Inside Passage along the west coast of Canada. I’ve been reading about Ansel Adams, and how he dodged and burned the heck out of his prints to make the image he wanted. It makes me shake my head at the “purist” photographers on the internet who deride anyone who does a lot of post processing. Anyhow, I ain’t no Ansel Adams but I now feel even a little bit better about tinkering around with my “digital negatives” . By the way, although this has been majorly massaged, it is not a composite or double exposure etc. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)
I had waited about 20 minutes past the actual time of moonrise for it to rise high enough to become visible through distant clouds. Then there was no time to rest as the sky darkened, and the moon brightened. The image above is the result of a bracketed set of 5 exposures run through Photomatix. This is the best it could do with the rapidly expanding dynamic range of the scene- at least with what I gave the program to work with. I thought this had a rather atmospheric mood, although it is beginning to creep into the realm of the surreal. Alright, I confess it was this one that made my wife go “oooooh , That one!” when she saw it, so I figured I better post it.
As you may have seen in the news, Saturday night’s full moon was extra special. Our moon’s orbit around the earth is somewhat elliptical, so it is closer to us at certain times. When those close approaches happen to coincide with the proper alignment with the sun for a full moon, we get a “supermoon”, which appears larger than at other times. This windmill image was no accident, I used a fantastic app on my iPad called The Photographer’s Ephemeris. You can stick a pin in the app’s map and it will project lines to show you exactly where the sun and moon will rise and set on the horizon. I had a couple of ideas on where to position myself for Saturday’s moonrise, the app helped me know exactly where to be to get the image I had in mind. This app gets the Warped Prism seal of approval!
Once the moon rose high enough to become visible through distant clouds and haze, there was a remarkably short time to work. This is an HDR image processed through Photomatix, then some tweaks in Lightroom. I have a small handful of ‘keepers’, but have found it really difficult to choose what to post.
I posted an unremarkable photo yesterday to illustrate a point, I thought I’d use one today of the same general subject which I thought turned out more pleasing. This was just a quick shot from the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, Maine. At the time I had been more interested in shooting the sunset, and the brightly lit cruise ship in the harbor below, so this was image was something of an afterthought. I think I find it works better as a vertical crop, the original was horizontal.
Look behind you, there might be something interesting happening. That’s one of the little lessons I’ve learned when out photographing. This is especially true if you are in a generally interesting location, in changing light and/or changing weather. Sure, that main subject you’re fussing over is important, but don’t forget to glance around every once in awhile. Even if you don’t come away with a stunning photograph of the whatever-it-is, you may still be glad you were able to see it. This happened to me while shooting the Bass Harbor Lighthouse written about in my last post. After the other observers left me alone on the rocky shore in the fading light, I looked behind me and there was the moon rising above the hill. When it is this high in the sky, the moon is notoriously difficult to shoot due to exposure issues, so the resulting photo is nothing spectacular for me. That doesn’t matter though, just the memory of that scene, at that spectacular location is all I need.