Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Shooting for the moon

It was all over Facebook and on every news station - a supermoon, a blood moon, a total eclipse of the moon all on one night - possibly the last one in my lifetime.  The moon for the past few nights had been tempting me outside with my camera - cool fall nights with clear skies or just a few wispy clouds make for interesting shots of the moon.  In fact, the night before the supermoon, I shot this image:

The night before the supermoon

Usually solar or lunar events seem to pass virtually unnoticed in our town, but not so the Night of the Supermoon.  The neighbour across the street was up on his roof setting up a tripod to take timelapse shots with which to create a composite picture, and his friends and family had gathered to watch the event through his telescope.  Most of the town, however, headed down to the seawalk, including yours truly.  I didn't take my tripod - some may remember that the last time I tried to shoot the moon with the camera on the tripod, it landed on the concrete and my favourite lens has never been the same since.  Which might account for why I didn't have much luck shooting for the supermoon.

My best photo of the night was actually taken while waiting for the moon to appear - as the sea and sky turned to shades of pinks and azure blue:

Waiting for moonrise over Osborne Bay

When the moon did appear, it was barely visible, despite a lack of city lights and a relatively cloudless, starry sky.  Visibility wasn't helped by the fact that it wasn't really dark out yet!

Can you see it? Can you? Can you?

So mostly we all just stood around on the seawalk and had an impromptu community party - sharing stories, greeting neighbours, chatting with people we'd never met.  Eventually, about the time that the eclipse should have been almost over according to the astrologers among us, the blood moon appeared - distant, small, and not quite bloody.  I tried to capture it, I really did.  But without the tripod, my attempts were shaky at best.

Not exactly a steady hand!

I thought I'd got it with this one, but when I uploaded it to the computer, I found I'd shot James and the Giant Peach instead:

James and the Giant Peach?

Eventually I figured out the right manual settings and got something less blurry, though I swear the harvest moons I photographed last year were much brighter and closer and bigger!

The not-so-super Supermoon

On the beach at the other end of the seawalk, some people let off Chinese flying lanterns, which flamed and flew high into the sky.  I tried to photograph them too, but all I got was wavy abstract colours and flying neon snakes:

In the end, I wrote it up to a fun night meeting old friends and new down by the beach, and then I had a little fun with the photos as well:

PS:  If you want to see some truly awesome photos of the supermoon, check out this link featuring some of the best shots of the supermoon by photographers far more talented and knowledgeable than I!


Anonymous said...

Jean your blog made me LOL and I so enjoyed your beauty shots of the bay at sunset!

Anonymous said...

I also had trouble seeing it at first. I finally found it and it was fun to watch the spectacle. Something I will never see again. It did find that, to my eyes, that the moon the next night looked even bigger. But that was probably because that evening I saw it just as it was coming up over Salt Spring Island.


Wendy Hamilton said...

Thats so funny Jean. If you said the lanterns where also pics of the super moon, I'd believe you. Too bad I forgot about it here and just caught a glimpse of a quarter eclipse on the way home from a (mediocre) movie... oh hum.. another lost opportunity.

Elle Clancy said...

Just checking in...hope all is well. Love your posts & especially your pictures, and miss seeing your words. Am looking forward to hearing your take on your new PM!