Sea Blue Lens


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Third Thursday Challenge: Shooting the Moon

For several months I’ve intended to try photographing the full moon for the Third Thursday Challenge. Clouds, travel, and various other circumstances have conspired to prevent it until — hurray! — this month.

I have tried to take photos of the moon many times before, of course. The results were always disappointing. So I did some research online for information. I read several articles, but one I found very helpful was this one. I went out on three evenings leading up to the full moon, using my Nikon d5100 and 55-200mm zoom lens, experimenting with various camera settings. I even used a tripod!

3 moons-2If at first you don’t succeed….

I felt I’d achieved my initial goal with the final image above, which I was very pleased with. But then I decided to take it a bit further. What I really wanted to do was to capture the moon as part of a landscape. But there are some difficulties with that.

MoontreeX3-2Now what?

If I focused on the moon, the foreground was blurred. Focusing on the foreground meant the moon was fuzzy. And if I wanted to include a larger foreground subject, the moon was tiny in comparison. I already knew that those gorgeous shots of a huge moon rising over a crystal clear landscape were composites — two images combined — so I thought I’d play with that idea a bit.

I can’t tell you exactly what I did for each image, because each one was different and I didn’t record my steps. I just played around with different things — sometimes copying and pasting the moon into the image, sometimes layering two images the same way you would add a texture to a photo. Here are the results of my creative experiment:

birdmoonThe Birds

adobe moonAdobe Moon

moontreeMoon Tree

mooncradleEmbrace

I haven’t perfected the technique by any means, but I really enjoyed trying to achieve an effect I’ve always admired.

Thanks to Brenda at How to Feather an Empty Nest for hosting the Third Thursday Challenge each month. It has inspired me to actually try things I’ve only thought about for years, and through the monthly linkup I always discover even more new things to try. Maybe you’d like to join in!


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Randomosity: SHS 6.23.13

At first I didn’t think I’d be able to come up with anything for this week’s Scavenger Hunt Sunday prompts. But after missing last week, I decided to try just a little harder to find some fitting images. Perhaps some of them are stretching it a bit, but at least I’m here! The words this week are Fun, Arts & Crafts, Messy, Blessing, and Effort.

Fun:

DSC_1937 FunWhat the Heck?

OK, I admit it — I haveĀ  a strange idea of fun. I was outside in my little fenced garden area when I spotted these leaves with a clump of feathers stuck to them lying on the ground. Doesn’t it look like some sort of alien creature? — though it doesn’t appear that our atmosphere agrees with it. I laid it on this plank and took several photos to preserve it in case future scientists want to study it.

Arts & Crafts:

125_2546_r1 sketchSketchy

Arts and crafts aren’t really my thing. I love art supplies and have lots of them, but seldom use them. I’m hoping this will count. The photo is an old one, as my friends in Maine will recognize immediately — this clock tower was decapitated several years ago — but it’s newly processed. I recently learned how to do this sketch-like post-processing (thanks to my friend Brenda at How to Feather an Empty Nest) and this was my favorite of the images I tried it out on. I really liked the way it turned out. It’s pretty arty, right?

Messy:

DSC_1911 RR windowDay of Rest

Last Sunday I took a nap on the couch, and woke up to a strange tapping noise at the window. The curtains were closed but I parted them and peeked out to see TWO roadrunners up on the window ledge. They seemed to be pecking at their own reflections on the glass. While I slipped away for my camera, one of them hopped down and left. The other one quickly followed, but I managed to get this one photo first. So where’s the “messy”? I’m glad you can’t see the rest of that windowsill. I really need to get out the vacuum.

Blessing:

DSC_1210 blessingTranquility Base

This was an easy one. The peace that descends at day’s end is always a blessing.

Effort:

DSC_2091 supermoonBella Luna

My sister chose the name for this image. I’ve never been successful at photographing the moon, and I put a lot of effort into trying to get some good shots of this month’s “super moon.” This was taken with my Nikon D5100 with 55-200mm lens (at maximum zoom) on a tripod. I cropped and adjusted for contrast and clarity in Lightroom. I have plans for some further experimentation with the photos I took that I hope to post later.

This week’s challenges turned out to be fun after all. Here’s the Scavenger Hunt Sunday linkup – come check it out!

PS – Happy Birthday, Ashley!


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Night Work

I didn’t think I did much night photography, but if you define “night” as any time between sunset and sunrise, it turns out I’m quite fond of it!

Evening Harbor

Nightfall at the Farm

Rubble and Reflections

Night Work

Midnight Magic

I’m linking in to Kat Sloma’s Exploring with a Camera: Night Photography.