Full Moon Rising

Before I get down to explaining the images of the “super” full moon rising that accompany this story, let me point you (in case you may be interested) to a few recent stories that feature me:

Full Moon Rising by Harold Davis
Full Moon Rising © Harold Davis

I shot this image during a recent Golden Gate Bridge and Full Moon workshop I gave. The moon was rising behind the Golden Gate Bridge from Battery Spencer in the Marin Headlands.

I used my intervalometer (remote programmable timer) to make 333 exposures while I went around to the people in the workshop to see how they were doing. So the camera shot this image on autopilot—and I didn’t have to do anything!

Each exposure was for 2 seconds at f/22 and ISO 100, using a 400mm focal length on my 1.5X crop Nikon D300 (effective 35mm focal length of 600mm). There was a one second interval between each of the exposures.

I started the sequence of exposures with the moon on the lower left of the frame because I knew the moon would move diagonally up, and I wanted it to stay in the frame as long as possible. The camera was unattended, so I had no way to know during the exposure sequence how well this was working.

When I looked at the captures on my computer, the moon started to leave the frame at the 170th exposure, so I had 169 exposures to work with if I wanted to keep the moon within the frame.

I used the Statistics script in Photoshop Extended to stack the 169 exposures. Stacking all the images together yielded a fat, blurred line: proving once again that sometimes it is possible to have too much information!

I found (by trial and error) that stacking every 25th exposure (for a total of eight exposures) gave interesting results in which you can see some detail in the moon.

The partial transparency in the final images was achieved by combining a stack created in Maximum mode in the Statistics script with a stack created using Mean mode in the Statistics script, each stack containing just the eight images.

The lines on the right are, of course, Golden Gate Bridge cables.

I should add that this makes a very cool print in either the black & white or color version, sized small, on Moab’s Moenkopi Kozo Washi rice paper.


Lunar Progression by Harold Davis
Lunar Progression © Harold Davis

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