Empty Sky – 48/365

For today’s picture I wanted to capture an image of the moon. I knew it was going to be tricky, because I haven’t really got the kit for taking pictures over long distances, and it’s caught me out before in this challenge.

The sky tonight was also unusually empty, very little cloud formation, no air traffic, seemingly nothing but the big bright moon in an ocean of inky blackness.

This was actually a blessing, because the constraints forced me to think hard about how I was going to compose a picture, that would be interesting to look at.

At first I just framed the moon nicely off to the left, and then set the colouring so that the rest of the sky would be very dark, save for the beams of light coming from the moon. That worked out ok, but it wasn’t that interesting.

Next up, some forced movement and exposure to make it look like the moon was falling from the sky. This I liked better, but it was still lacking something, and although it wasn’t, the light streak looked draw on.

Onto another shot of the moon on its own, this time off to the right, and with a deep cool blue tone to the night sky. This colouring gave a much better result I feel, and held more intrigue to the frame.

It was clear that the frame needed something else in it, so I scratched my head to get the grey matter going, and thought about what I could included in the picture.

Obviously there was nothing in the sky that could help me, so it would have to be something on the ground.

Then I thought it might be cool to frame the moon half masked by the roof eves, half shining bright across the night. I really liked the effect, it was like a night time sun rise!

Finally, to test what I’ve learnt with camera settings, I tired to get a shot of just the moon, but with it as bright and sharp as possible, and the sky as black and clean as possible. The pictures aren’t perfect, but I’m happy with the result for now, because they are a mile away from where I was at the start of this adventure, so it’s really pleasing to know I have actually learned some stuff.

Learnings – it’s surprisingly difficult to take a good image with a very sparse subject matter, which is interesting to me because I often battle with what I call “noisy” backgrounds. What I mean is, if my chosen subject has a lot going on behind it, I find it really distracts my eye from the over-all feel I’m trying to achieve.

Today it was really interesting to be presented with the polar opposite of my “noise” problem, and to find myself looking for more to add to the shot. The detail of the roof and TV Ariel are still very subtle, as I wanted them to be, but they add just enough, I think.

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