Late afternoon yesterday was clear and wonderful here in East Bay. I knew the full moon would be rising at about 8:35PM, the same time roughly as sunset. In these circumstances, there was no alternative except engaging in a bit of moon chasing.
The heavy sea horse cranes down by Port Oakland were mostly idle, a sign of the times and something I have never seen before.
I positioned myself across a small bay from a group of cranes and waited for moonrise. There was no one around, and to tell the truth I am more nervous in this kind of situation than anywhere in the wilderness.
But I concentrated on the technical photography problems. The good news: at sunset the dynamic range between moon and sky was manageable, a little later the range of lights and darks would have made this kind of shot impossible because of the difference between the lights and darks.
The real problem: there was a very strong wind. My long lens on the tripod (400mm, or 600mm in 35mm terms) was vibrating, even though I took all possible measures to stabilize the setup, including hanging my camera bag as a weight on the center pole.
There was no other option besides using a fast shutter speed. Without the wind I would have taken longer and longer exposures at ISO 100 or ISO 200. But in the circumstances, I kept the shutter speed at 1/200 of a second, and started boosting the ISO, first to ISO 800 and then to ISO 1,000.
With my strategy in place, I waited. I chatted with a friend on the phone. Then the moon rose between the chains of the equipment, and my chasing was done…this moon was captured!
View this image larger.