Posts tagged ‘moonscape’

July 9, 2013

From St. Louis with Love

An arch consists of two weaknesses which, leaning one against the other, make a strength – Leonardo Da Vinci

St. Louis hosts one of the grandest Jul 4th celebrations. With the fair, food carts, live band, fireworks all under the majestic arch – it cannot get any better. To top it off, the show continues for 3 days around Jul 4th.

Shooting fireworks is fun.  But including a sense of surrounding and the mood really makes it even more interesting. This shot of the Seattle space needle with fireworks is one of my favorites. So when I learnt about the Arch and fireworks, started digging around with Google earth and TPE for potential spots. After some planning decided on the location – some accessible spot from the other side of the the river, across the railway tracks and as close to the water as possible.

Later learnt that due to the security it would be impossible to get to this location during the Jul 4th weekend. Oh well, may be some other time. As a plan B decided to check out the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and the view of the Arch from the observation platform. The views were good, except for the power line. Hopefully it does not become synonymous with the city skyline ! As the show progressed , the direction of the wind was not in favor and the smoke started hindering. Was not very satisfied with the shots from this spot. There was not enough lighting on the Arch itself. May be I was still stuck up on the river side spot. My friend did get a lovely shot from here, so may be, it was just me ;-)

The next day we decided to head right under the arch. Built at 630 feet and with 900 tons of stainless steel – Gateway Arch – is the tallest national monument within the United States. Standing beneath it gives a sense of awe and humility. None of the pictures does justice to its grandeur. One really need to be there to experience its size.

About the shot – The original plan was to check out the reflecting pools and see if the fireworks would compliment the composition. Unfortunately both the pools were filled with algae, not ideal for reflections. After scouting the location settled for this view. Being much closer to the arch, the surrounding lights beautifully reflected on the metallic surface. The colors of blue & red along with symbolic stripes makes this shot iconic for me, especially being shot on ID4 celebrations ! It was cool to get the burst of the heart too. I love it when a plan comes together, even if it was not a primary plan :)

P.S: Check this out for more cool information and history of the Gateway Arch.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f5.6 : 2 sec [fireworks] / f9.5 : 30 sec

Buy Print Gateway Arch 
St Louis, Missouri, USA
June 27, 2013

Super Moon Lighthouse

Super moon, Blue moon, Pink moon, Harvest moon – are all nothing but whimsy media terms. Believe me, there is nothing super about the super moon.

I am definitely not an expert at shooting the moon. I have captured the moon in the past, but am still learning. One thing that helps in getting a captivating shot is to capture the moon when it is low – real low – on the horizon.  The other is to include a foreground subject to get a scale of reference. Just make sure you far away from the foreground subject and shoot with a really really long long lens [ beg borrow or steal, just get the longest lens you can :) ]. Shooting with the long lens helps actuate the size of the farther object (in this case the moon) by playing with your mind. As with the below shot or this example of the sunset. It becomes much more obvious in this shot by Photographer Alessandro Della Bella.

This evening the weather was playing hide and seek. It was supposed to be clear. Then it was all overcast. After lot of deliberation, decided to drive out to the planned spot. It was still an hour or so more for the moon to come up. It was still drizzling. Decided it would be a nice evening walk, if not anything else. Just around the time of the moon rise, the clouds had cleared a bit, but the the horizon was still overcast and hazy. What is the fun if everything goes as planning right :) After suspenseful wait the moon decided to show up – just at the right spot. At the end it was all worth it. Yes – there is nothing super about the super moon. Actually – every full moon is indeed super. What do you say ?!!!

Buy Print   Super Moon on 6.23.2013 @ Chicago Lighthouse
Chicago, Illinois, USA
March 21, 2013

When things are at extreme, sometimes polarities just flip …

I am so close, I may look distant.
So completely mixed with you, I may look separate.
So out in the open, I appear hidden.
So silent, because I am constantly talking with you.
     -   Rumi

 

The below shot is a moon set, yes you read that right, it is the moon set and not sun set. It was one of those rare early morning twilight moments during the beginning of the harvest months, when the moon is fiery, large & bright – due to its low position in the horizon. The colors were as is and not modified. You can read more about the harvest moon in this older post from last Aug.

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : No Filter : ISO 800 : 270 mm : f5.6 : 0.5 sec

  Harvest Moon
Crater Lake, Oregon, USA
October 1, 2012

Harvest Moon at Crater Lake

Camping out in the wilderness – it was such a cozy feeling, as I was lazing in the comfort of the sleeping bag with the pre dawn temperatures of 2oC. I was in no mood of getting out. Oh my, I was real glad I did push myself out eventually. Already short of time, I was driving a bit crazy to locate a spot for the sun rise along the rim of Crater Lake. To my left, glanced the reddish glow between the trees. My initial thoughts was -forest fire – as there was an high alert warning for the same. I stopped the car right on the middle of the road and set the tripod to get this shot. Luckily there was no car traffic to bother me, at the time of the hour :)

The Harvest Moon is usually the first full moon after the first frost or it is the full moon closest to Mabon. As MSN quoted, the harvest moon was extremely photogenic. Actually I was not even aware of the Harvest Moon until I read this article today. Now I know why the moon was so bold and red ! The Harvest moon appears larger and brighter due to its low position in the horizon, during the rise and set. The colors of this special moon – that yellow, gold and red is more an impact of the earth on the moon, than actually being a change in the moon. Autumn (Harvest) is the season when the focus is on the harvest of what has been worked on all year. Appreciation for what one had & has. As I enjoyed this scene, it definitely was a moment of contemplation …

I present to you The harvest Moon setting over the horizon, at the Crater Lake National Park Area. This shot is directly from the camera (RAW to JPEG converted for web display) with no post processing. I would have liked a closer crop, but did not do any processing, to highlight the colors as it existed. Where were u over the weekend, did u get a chance to enjoy the Harvest moon in person !!!

Camera : Canon 7D
Lens : Tamron 18-270mm
Filter : None
ISO 320 : 155 mm : f5.6 : 0.7 sec
Shot on : 09.30.2012 ; 6:39 AM

Buy Print   Harvest Moon
Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, USA
September 3, 2012

Rise of The Blue Moon

Blue Moon is term for the second full moon in any given month. The phrase ‘once in a blue moon’ is supposed to indicate a rare event – thought the blue moon sighting is actually once or more in around 3 years. And no – the blue moon is no where near blue. Actually it was having a more warm yellowish glow, as it was rising behind the Mt Hood.

This shot was from Jonsrud view point at Sandy, OR during the blue moon on Aug 31,2012.  Photographing the moon at times can be quiet intimidating. U might be tempted to treat it as night photography. The moon being a source of light can appear just as a white blob if not exposed properly. If you are planning to shoot just the moon, then a long zoom and couple of tips could get your started. Shooting it along with the landscape require a bit of planning. On that particular day, the moon being slated to rise just 30 mins prior sunset, created a very conducive and magical light. The beautiful colors were just as such and created by the alpine glow of the setting sun on the opposite side. The full moon, clear skies, the alpine glow – everything just came together. Enjoy the blue moon, as it rises :)

This shot required some pre work : being at the right place and at the right time made all the difference. The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE) – a nifty software available for both desktop (requires Adobe AIR) and mobile, greatly helped in finalizing the shooting spot and also the location / time of the moon rise across the horizon.

P.S: This was taken from the same spot from where this sunrise was shot, wow how much of a difference light can make !

Camera : Canon 7D
Lens : Tamron 18-270mm
Filter : 3 stop Neutral Density Filter
ISO 100 : 70 mm : f8 : 0.5 sec

Buy Print Jonsrud Viewpoint
Sandy, Oregon, USA
August 6, 2011

Fly me to the Moon

There are those special full moon days, when u feel that the moon is much larger. The drama created by the clouds is so strong, that you just feel like being one with the night. This weeks shot is from one such days. Photographing the moon is a real challenge, if you don’t know how to do it. But just a handful of tips & a bit of trial and error, you definitely can get a keeper. When I initially started shooting the moon, used to set up my tripod and try for long exposure, you see it was night and dark, right ! Wrong. Moon is one of the brightest objects and at the same not static. Hence any thing less than a 1/125 sec would result in not so sharp shot. This article has lot of details on the technicalities of setting up the shot. Before you head out, u definitely need to know when the next full moon is. This calendar is handy, yeah gone are the days when we all had the time to look up, every night and know when the full moon was approaching.

And to go along with the shot, here is one of my, supposed,  haiku. For my non-tamil readers, have tried my best to provide a close enough translation. Hope you enjoy it as much as the shot.

ennavalae
nee nilavai pondraval
andru alagil
indro thoo’laivil …

Dear,
you are like the moon
then in beauty :)
but, now in distance :(

Buy Print  Flickr Page

Full Moon
Bangalore, Karnataka, India

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