Posts Tagged: New Moon

The Setting New Moon and Mt. Tom

The Setting New Moon and Mt. Tom

Tues. 02.28.17 – Last evening I went out to my photography corner of Brockman Lane and Dixon Lane*, so that I could take photos of the New Moon as it set behind Mt. Tom to the west. I used the US Navy Observatory Moon rise and set calculator to figure out when it would set and when civil twilight would be so I could take the above new moon photo and attempt to take a photo of the Mars & Uranus conjunction.

When I drove out at 6:30pm, it was approximately 42F / 5.5C and there were frogs singing their little hearts out. Odd but true. Frogs trying to get laid in February when it is still dipping below 32F / 0C at night. By the time I finished nearly 40 minutes later, it was at least 5 degrees colder, a wind had picked up, and the frogs had wisely retreated. My gloves** were not equal to the task at hand and my fingers were sending mayday alerts.

The good news is that I was able to take a series of photos of the Moon and Venus (Instagram), the Moon setting behind Mt. Tom (Flickr), three photos of Mars & Uranus.

Why no posted photos of Mars & Uranus with the used Nikon 70-200mm f4 lens taken with my Nikon D800? Post-processing is my achilles heel. I love to shoot, but I hate post-processing. Working in Lightroom and Photoshop bring out the worst of my personality and work habits. I am normally a patient person who can spend hours crafting a thing, but not in photo post-processing.

Last night, the Flickr version of the Moon Setting on Mt. Tom was my favorite of the three photos I took within a minute and then processed the RAW files to jpg. This morning, the photo I posted above is my favorite. But the truth of the matter is that only the Instagram photo that I took with my camera phone captured the color of the late dusk sky correctly.

No matter how I fiddled in Lightroom last night, I could not get the RAW files to have the right two tones of the late dusk sky. I had to resort to using split tone highlights and shadows – this feels like it is too much processing. But that is the point of shooting RAW, I get to do my own processing and not let the camera generate the jpg.

Anywhoo, forgive my grousing. If you have a clear horizon, do go look at the new moon as it sets tonight. Astro Bob has a nice blog post on the new moon for the 27th & 28th of February, as well as how to find Mars & Uranus with binoculars.

*Do you all sense a theme here? Local high point with low sagebrsuh so the view of the Eastern Sierra, the White Mtns., and the Owens Valley is good.

** I wonder how my Finnish photo friends shoot at night and dawn in winter with a tripod? I must inquire what gloves they use that allow for dexterity & flexibility but keep one’s hands warm.

The Moon and the Puddle

The Moon and the Puddle in the desert

Mon 01.11.16 – While driving just after sunset eastbound on California highway 62, I knew that the new crescent moon would be setting soon behind me. As the dusk deepened, the road turned to Vidal Junction and out of the farside of my left side vision, I could see the moon. I pulled over as soon as it was safe to do so and saw this large puddle from recent rains in the desert and was delighted.

I pulled out the Nikon D800 but could not unearth the tripod from under the luggage, so here is my photo of the Moon and the Puddle.

Twilight: A Very New Moon, Mercury, and Oil Platforms

The Moon and Mercury at Twilight : Nokia Lumia 920 The Moon and Mercury at Twilight : Nokia 808 PureView

Photos taken by Ms. Jen this evening at twilight at Huntington Beach, near Tower 22, with her Nokia Lumia 920 (on the left) and her Nokia 808 PureView (on the right).

Mon 02.11.13 – Hello, February 11th. It has been two years. Platforms have been burnt to a crisp, the Arab Spring is still struggling valiantly to free itself from authoritarian rulers, and I am still trying to push the boundaries of camera phone photography.
As for the photos above, I have been hoping to get photos of this past weekend’s Mars and Mercury conjunction on the western horizon just after sunset, but due to Friday’s rain storm we have had clouds on the horizon for the last few days. Today was the first truly clear day and at 5:30pm I got in the car to drive as quickly as possible to a good vantage point with a clear view of the western horizon.
While I could not see Mars, I did see the brand new crescent Moon and Mercury just below it to the left. I did not have my camera phone tripod mount with me, so instead of using the tripod to steady the camera phones as I took these photos with the Nokia Lumia 920 and the Nokia 808 PureView, I wedged them into a gap in the railing over the south end of the Huntington Cliffs to get a more stable photo and a crisp crescent moon.
These photos are a part of my loose on-going series of mild comparisons between the Lumia 920 and the 808 PureView. Tonight was not a true comparison, as the 808 was set to full resolution and infinity focus in creative mode, while the Lumia was set to Automatic and I have yet to figure out if I can change the focus modes on the 920.
On the horizon where the sky meets the ocean from left to right we have on the far left Eureka the Oil Platform, Elly and Ellen, Edith (all on the left by Catalina Island), in the middle right horizon we have Huntington Beach’s near Emma and Eva the Oil Platforms, and finally on the far right is Seal Beach’s Esther, and then in the very far right horizon the line of lights at the edge of the photos is the Port of LA/LB.
Per usual, the Nokia 808 PureView is an amazing camera phone that can achieve clarity and true to life color even in low light, as the photo on the right is true to the color my eyes saw in the twilight. The Lumia 920 still took a great photo from the clarity side of things, but the color is lurid and a bit too candy-ish to what I really saw at the scene. Both phones did a great job at getting the delicate crescent of the new moon in sharp focus. Bravo!
On a completely different note, peace to Egypt and Syria, may they be free of their shackles.