Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

November 9, 2011

I’m mooning you!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 5:07 pm
Tags: , , ,

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I’ve been out chasing the moon again.  I know the full moon isn’t until tomorrow, but when I was driving my daughter to dance class yesterday afternoon, I saw a large moon hanging low in the sky.  I drove home right away to get my camera, but by the time I positioned myself in a nice spot for photos, it had risen quite a bit higher.  I took some shots anyway, and I liked a couple, so here they are!

moonrise

This was taken at the top of a hill, near where I walk the dogs in the woods along the powerlines.  I wish I had thought to do this a few weeks ago, when there was more color around.  We never really had peak color around here in my opinion, but I’m sure it was a little brighter than this.  Turning around to get back in my car, I noticed some pretty sunset colors.  Sunset shots near my house are generally blocked by trees and wires, but from this hill, there was a little less interference, but enough little something to give it some interest.

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I’d like to go back and try again tomorrow for the full moon, but the forecast isn’t great.  Clouds and rain are expected.  I’m glad I took the time to go take these shots; we’ve been enjoying some much deserved temperatures in the upper 60’s after our freak snowstorm and power outage last week.  I imagine December’s full moon night temperatures won’t be quite so pleasant!

August 22, 2011

Sun and Moon

Filed under: Travel — Karma @ 8:54 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Hi everyone!  I’m back from Maine.  I took lots of pictures and have lots to say, and was having a hard time deciding where to begin.  So,  I decided to start at the beginning!  There’s an original thought, huh?  I’m still sorting through the 468 shots I took this past week, deciding what I’d like to share, but these are from my first evening at the cottage.  August 13th also happened to be the night of the full moon this month, so I wanted to be sure not to miss it this time around.  I checked the time for moon rise, and headed out about 20 minutes before that to get ready.  Luckily it was low tide, which made for plenty of room for setting up the tripod.  At Hills Beach in Biddeford, Maine, the tide goes way out:
sunset at Hills Beach

While the sunset isn’t quite over the water, it comes really close at this beach.

I waited patiently for the moon to rise while I set up my tripod and played around with different shutter and aperture settings.  Lots of folks were out walking, enjoying the warm temperatures and low tide.  One gentlemen stopped and asked me what it was that photographers are interested in in this area (he owns a house on this beach, lucky guy!)  I told him I didn’t know but I was waiting for the full moon.  He jokingly offered to “pose” for a full moon!  We ended up having a nice chat about the area – he’s owned his place for about 20 years, I’ve been vacationing there since my parents first took me as a child- and what a wonderful place it is for families.  His daughter and her children were there visiting him that day, and she showed me her lovely sunrise photos.  They were temptingly beautiful, but I am sooo not an up-before-the-sun kind of person.  I’d love sunrise shots but wasn’t sure I could drag myself up that early on vacation.

The moon finally rose above a small bank of clouds.  I took a few dozen shots at different settings and compositions.  This was my favorite of the batch:

Aug. 13 full moon over Biddeford Pool

After taking my moon shots, I turned my lens around for a few more shots of the beautiful colors left by the sun:
evening light

I had a couple more interesting “run-in’s” with the moon during the week.  On Wednesday of last week, the moon came up a bit later, but during the course of the evening the brightness was casting a gorgeous glow on the sand below.  I dragged the tripod out to the little sand dune in front of the cottage and again played with settings.  The brightness of the moon made it difficult for me to focus on, but I thought these two shots came out pretty well:

shiny moon

(10 sec., f10) The dots of light below are lights on the masts of sailboats.  I changed the settings to get a brighter shot here (30 sec., f5.0):

glowing moon

The next night, while we were down on the beach having a campfire and enjoying the distant fireworks of Old Orchard Beach, the moon rose in a bloody red color.  My family urged me, “take a picture, take a picture!!”  I knew I didn’t have the skill to capture that gorgeous color with so little light available, so I hemmed and hawed.  Finally, as we were heading back up to the cottage, it was higher in the sky, still glowing orange, so I gave it a try:
orange moon

This is but a whisper of its earlier color, and of course now I can’t help but wonder if I could’ve gotten an acceptable shot of the low, red moon.

So did I get up for a sunrise picture after all?  All week long,  I awakened around 5:30 am and took a gander out my bedroom window.  I could see the beautiful color, but I just couldn’t drag myself out of bed.  I considered taking the shot through the window, but I knew the screen in the way just wouldn’t do it justice.  On Friday when I awakened pre-dawn, I told myself it was one of my last chances, so get yourself down there.  I had no idea exactly what time sunrise was, but I walked down to my beach chair and plopped myself there and waited.  Surprisingly, I enjoyed the pre-dawn quiet – only the sea birds and gentle lapping waves making any sound.  I think for the first time in my life I actually saw the full orb of the sun creep above the horizon.  Here it is as it first peeked up:
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and again as the whole orb was first visible:

sunrise, Hills Beach

Of course I played around with the settings again, not really knowing what I was doing.  I changed white balance around too, but none of the settings really gave the true view which I find curious.  The actual view surrounding the sun was more blue, and the bright color more limited to the area right in front of the sun, but nothing I tried presented that image.  I’d love to hear from anyone with sunrise-shooting experience about what settings and such worked for you, or about any thoughts you may have about why this picture didn’t show up true to my view.

I’ve got so much more to share with you over the coming days.  The start of school looms in about a week, so I hope to sort through my thoughts and images to present some more blog posts very soon!  Hope you don’t get sick of hearing about Maine!

July 17, 2011

Chasing the Moon

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sunset at Smuggler’s Beach, South Yarmouth

This past Thursday evening I was driving to Cape Cod to visit my mother.  As I made the familiar trek over the Bourne Bridge, along the Cape Cod Canal and on to Rt. 6 or the Mid-Cape Highway at approximately 8pm, I was struck by an outrageously gorgeous full moon hanging very low in the sky.  The Mid-Cape travels east until you get to the “elbow” of Cape Cod, so I had an amazing view of the rising moon and bemoaned the fact that a busy highway on a famous vacation pennisula would probably be a dangerous place to pull over and take a picture.  The conditions would have been perfect (except for the fact that I left my tripod at home) – low in the sky, full, beautiful color, not too dark out.  No matter, I said to myself.  I’m here for two more nights, I will certainly get another chance.

Friday came and I spent the day getting LOTS of other fun pictures such as:
pink hydrangea

pink hydrangeas,

sand sculpture

amazing sand sculptures, and

interesting negative space

interesting negative space – do you see the “dog biscuits” my daughter spotted?

It was such a lovely afternoon at the beach, we decided to bring some pizza to the beach to eat for dinner and await moonrise.  Certainly I’d get a lovely shot right at the spot where Bass River runs into Nantucket Sound.

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The light of day was fading.  Around 7:45pm I couldn’t see the moon anywhere despite a mostly clear sky and wide-open landscape.  I didn’t think moonrise would change all that much in 24 hours, but to be on the safe side, I called hubby, who wasn’t able to accompany me on this trip.

“Hon, could you do me a favor?” I asked.

“What’s up?”

“Could you go on that website with the moonrise data for me and check the time of tonight’s moonrise?”

“Uh, okay… hang on… the navy’s site says 7:22pm for the Cape Cod area.”

Okay now I was really confused.  It was nearly 8:00, the wind was getting really chilly and my daughters were getting really impatient.  No moon anywhere.  At 8:10, we gave up and went back to Mom’s place.

Frustrated by the lack of moon, I looked up moonrise information myself on this site.   Apparently, the U.S. Naval moonrise information does not take daylight savings time into account!  The moonrise was actually 8:22 pm.  I missed what was probably a gorgeous moon.  According to the Cape tides site, the next night moonrise would be nearly 9pm.  **sigh**  The picture was not mine to have this time around.