Conquering The Moon

adventures with Abigail

 🌕 I am enamoured with the moon. How about you? You think as a photographer I'd be photographing it's beauty ALL THE TIME. ~ Nope
😱 Years ago I tried to make a photo of the full harvest moon rising... I always admired those glorious photographs of the full moon in all it's glory, spanning the full frame, fully detailed & sooo beautiful ~ I thought tonight's the night I'm going to make one of those!
I prepared & planned my trip, went out to a secluded spot in the country well before the moon rise, set up my tripod and waited ~ yep it was a little unnerving being alone in the dark on a solitary country road but that's not the point of my story...
The moon appeared and though I planned & prepared I had no idea HOW to photograph it's beauty and I made some photos - just not the one's in my mind's eye. Mr. moon was a tiny over-exposed spec in the night's sky 😳
Deflated, I left that spot laughing at my naiveté but was pretty proud of the adventure I embarked on. To trek out in the dark country solo was brave for me. (not recommended for all)
💥 FFWD many years later
🌃 About a month back there was a possibility to see the Northern Lights here in South Western Ontario so naturally, I loaded up Abigail (&mom) into the car and trekked outside the city lights on a solitary country road and set up camp
We anxiously awaited, anticipating their appearance. After several hours we saw a strange glow coming through the trees and wondered what it was.
🌕 MR. MOON 🌕 I sprang out of the car, grabbed the tripod and nervously tried to snap some photos (remembering my inexperience & lack of success from many years prior)
🎉I DID IT! I conquered. After a 10 minute span and several attempts. And while they're super cropped in and by no means stellar, they're good enough for me and I am soooo proud that I did it!
and as for the northern lights ~ no luck but I did come away with a very proud moment.
Shown here are the progression of photos from the start of my attempt to the finish. Note, the full frame photos of the moon are cropped in significantly (70-200mm lens)
1st Attempt Moon Photography
1st Attempt 12:59am -  I sprang outta the car and got the tripod set up ~ I started with my 24-70mm (wide angle) lens to catch the scene. I rushed because the moon rises quickly, and I didn't want to miss it while it was still near the horizon. This is under exposed and I used auto focus and well, that was a mistake...
A Shot on the moon rising shot with a wide angle 24-70 lens
2nd Attempt - the moon rising just above the tree line. This one again, out of focus and incorrect exposure, but I wanted to capture a sense of place. We watched this bright light (to the right of the moon) in the sky for the longest time trying to figure out was it a star or a satellite and with a little research (after the fact), I learned that the bright orange dot to the right is Saturn ( who knew! ) 
Waining Moon Rising
3rd attempt - I quickly switched lenses, I wanted a full frame shot of the moon so time to gear up with the biggest lens in my kit my 70 - 200mm ( though still not quite powerful enough ) this is a super-duper crop in of the original to show the results of the moon pic. Being relatively close to the horizon the moon was a warm orange so I tried capture that - again , using auto-focus I didn't quite catch on by this point .. but baby steps right 😉
Waining Moon Rising
4th Attempt - Changed with my exposure as the 3rd attempt I found was just a little too orange for what my eye was seeing.  Now this one was a little under exposed, but I do love the mood. On a positive, I started manually focusing and am starting to see a bit more definition in Mr. Moon 🎉
Waining Moon Rising
Last Frame - 1:10am I shot the last shot, before Mr.Moon slipped higher in the sky! This was for all the marbles! Making a couple adjustments to my focus and exposure, I got it!  I was able to see detail from the craters and I was ecstatic! I did it ~ success  🎉 Since this is a crop it is not quite as sharp as I would like it to be, but I'll take it!
What a beautiful sight!  The sun reflecting off the moon, the curvature of the darkness casting onto the moon making it appear like an inflated crescent moon. Simply lovely • purely delightful! 
And to give you some context... this is the full frame, those lines, that's the cropping box , so MAMMA NEEDS A NEW LENS!  
Context of the moon crop

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