It was time for me to practice with both of my cameras (Canon Rebel T3-i and Sony Cybershot DSC HX200V; the former is a DSLR and the latter a fancy point & shoot) – at night. In October I will attend a photography workshop at Mono Lake, day and night, and this takes me waaay out of my comfort zone. I have to at least know what the hell I’m doing with my cameras before I make the trek. As it turns out, there was a Full Moon two nights ago and that gave me a chance to acquaint myself with one of the tripods and juggling two cameras at night.
Proficiency isn’t achieved without mistakes along the way and figuring out a few things the hard way. Here are a few such examples.
Lunar flares, anyone?
This is Spot. See Spot shine.
Land of the Midnight Sun
Twinkle, twinkle, Big Star
Uh…it’s okay to let go of the remote control for the shutter now…let go!
And I’m nowhere near proficient with the Canon – most of the above were done on manual settings, the very thing that I’m trying to wrap my head around. That, and I need a lens approximating the built in one on my Sony – it’s a 30x zoom that goes up to 60x with a focus on a single item. Drum roll here…I absolutely LOVE my Sony for night time use! And that built-in zoom lens? Ooooohhhh.
Makes me feel like I’m in a Japanese tea ceremony.
The next two pictures had me screaming with delight when I viewed them on the laptop! Forty years ago I got hooked on viewing the night sky through a telescope (yes, I was a geek at sixteen, reading SF/fantasy and I have Andre Norton to thank for learning the constellations, the names of stars, and more, including my love of astronomy) and it was just awesome to see the Moon, the Orion Nebula (tiny and greyish-white but still!), Saturn’s rings and some of Jupiter’s moons through that old telescope. But photographing stuff like this at night in 1972? Noooo way. The technology for the average person just wasn’t there. Yet.
Moon #1 – You could have heard my jaw hit the keyboard before I screamed.
Moon #2 – And another scream of delight!
I have a book somewhere, published about 20 years or so ago, with a picture of the Moon on the cover. This is pretty darn close to that cover’s photo. And I really, really want to figure out the manual settings and lens for the Canon so I can replicate this on my own. In two weeks we’ll have the New Moon, and if I’m up before dawn in the two or three days preceding it, I can get the waning crescent…then after that, the waxing crescent…hmmmm…
Am I having fun with this? You bet!