Chasing the Moon

Moon Caught

Moon Caught, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

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.

This entry was posted in Digital Night, Photography.

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  1. By Stairway to Heaven | Photoblog 2.0 on July 16, 2009 at 8:46 am

    […] stories: Chasing the Moon; Sea […]

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