Thursday, December 04, 2008

Thematic Photographic 27: "Shadow" v.1.0 - "Waxing Crescent"

"Waxing Crescent"
Raleigh, NC- December 2008 (Click to embiggen)

Thematic Photographic hosted by Carmi - Button Image by Smarmoofus Hosted by Written Inc.

When Carmi first announced the "Shadow" theme for this week, I got really excited about it. Trouble was, I hadn't had time to execute any of the brilliant shadow shots I'd envisioned yet, so I was left scrambling in the archives. I found several examples, but none that really excited me. Until I remembered one of the largest shadows around, which I'd photographed only a couple of nights ago.

I'd gone out with the intention of getting the crescent moon in the company of Venus and Jupiter. I'd seen them hanging out together the night before and thought they made a striking display, but -- as so often happens -- a scheduling conflict kept me from being able to get the shot that night. And by the following night, Sister Moon had drifted away from her celestial companions too far to get the shot I'd seen the night before. I decided top try it anyway, but the angle I had to use to get all three of them was simply too wide to get anything really exciting.

But just so the trip wouldn't be a total wash, I snapped a couple of closeups of the waxing crescent that came out pretty well. And there's certainly one very big shadow going on here. Sometimes it pays to take that extra shot... just in case.

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tiff said...

That's not an easy shot to get. Well done!

ingrid said...


Robyn Jones said...

Very cool picture.....Love it!

(and about the have no idea...obsessed is more like it!

Mar said...

Stunning shot!! The Moon, Venus and Jupiter looked fantastic last Monday and Tuesday!

Guy D said...

Perfect shot, thanks for posting this.

Regina In Pictures

SinSecret said...

Hi there. Just stopping by some WW sites, and found you and your NC photos, and I just wanted to say hi, nice to meet you, and your photos are absolutely beautiful.

I love finding bloggers in NC, and your pictures are amazing.


Daryl said...

I am SO jealous ...


Cherie said...

What a great photo! I took a few shots of the moon that evening nothing nearly as good as this one. Here's my favorite:

Moon and Planets

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Holy smoke, that's an incredible shot. Wow.

Karen said...


Carmi said...

One of the coolest things I've ever done as a journalist was interview Harrison Schmitt, who along with Gene Cernan was the LAST guy to walk on the moon as part of the Apollo 17 mission.

He was so generous with his time, and so genuinely jazzed by his place in history, that it was difficult to not get more excited as the interview progressed. To this day, I can still feel what it was like to chat with him.

Now I have a visual to accompany that memorable-for-me experience. Thanks for this: it isn't just a technical/optical masterpiece. It's artistically resonant.

G. Harrison said...


i'm going to close my eyes, remember the shadows growing longer on the north shore of Superior in Aug. 2007 while my motorcycle engine cooled down, and wish the moon had come out that night to complete the evening.

not only a stellar photo, but I really enjoy the connection you and carmi have made.

you guys... buy a motorcycle, think 'road trip'.

(I've got a good set of maps!)


gord h.

~Just Me Miranda~ said...

That is an amazing shot. You must have one heck of a good camera. :( makes me want to ask Santa for a new camera. ;)

kenju said...

Great detail, Mojo!

Pamela said...

That photo is out of this world!!

Anonymous said...

This is a great photo of the moon. You've got to tell me how you did that because I have never been able to get a decent shot of the moon. What lens did you use, what was your aperture and speed settings, etc.?

Excellent shot!

me said...

I second what tarheelrambler asked - what lens did you use? How in gods name did you get such a perfect shot. I know you gave me some pointer, is this what I could get?

Mojo said...

(Wow. Who knew this one would cause such a stir?.)

Okay, since a couple of you have asked, I'll fill you in on the techie details. Who looks out for ya better'n me, huh?

The funny thing is I was using one of my old, not-so-high-end lenses because it's the longest reach I have. So the glass involved wasn't even all that great. But, here goes:

Camera: Canon 30D (DLSR)
Lens: Canon EF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 zoom at 300mm focal length
Aperture: f/8.0
Shutter: 1/13"
ISO: 200
Other: Exposure and focus both manual. Tripod mount using mirror lockup and wireless remote.

Post editing: Not much other than a pretty drastic crop to subject. The original image was 3504 x 2236 and I cropped it to the finished 600 x 400 size with no resizing. So what you see here is the doughnut hole in the middle of the original.

The most critical part of the shot though is to take it from a place where there's little to no ambient light on the ground. If you can't find a place that's completely dark, then at least try to eliminate light sources to your front. I was shooting across a cow pasture when I took this one, but I still had to wait for the occasional car to pass on the road behind me.

One other note: The exposure settings for this shot work for a crescent moon. they will not work with a quarter moon and definitely will not work with a full or near-full moon. The full moon shot I posted for Halloween used the same f/8.0 aperture, but a 1/200" shutter. Big difference, na?

And as always, YMMV... these settings may or may not suit you and your camera, but they'll give you a baseline to start at. Actual settings can be affected by differences in lenses, ambient light, filters (or lack of them) exact phase of the moon, all kinds of stuff. So don't consider my settings as gospel. It just did the job on this night.

Kimmie said...

I am speechless...You.Amaze.Me.

Cherie said...

I took your advice...this week's Photo Friday theme was dusk, so I used that photo HERE.