Well that was spooky!! I read that there was a full moon tonight, and its the Harvest Moon, and on Friday the 13th; it just had to be todays photograph really, didn’t it?
Anyway, it was a little bit of a classic Friday the 13th turn of events!
Once I’d made the decision to photograph the moon, I was watching the weather like a hawk, hoping for no clouds (for a change) and clear dark skies, and of course a good view of the moon.
It was 8pm now, and the moon wasn’t visible, “maybe I’ll have to go up the mountains” I thought, to get a view. I checked the moon web sites, and found that it was only just over the horizon for the UK, had I been in South Africa though I’d have a great view, as it was though I’d have to brave another hour crossing my fingers that the sky would be kind to me!
It was, as it happened, and at about 9pm, Holly said “I think I can see the moon Gav”. Sure enough, I had a look and there it was, creeping up over the distant roof tops.
I got set up and took my shots. Some intersting ones too, with the moon tucked between some TV ariels, and stuff like that. Then the first Friday the 13th thing happened………
The moon was completely blown out, and even though I’d used exposure bracketing for my shots, it wasn’t enough to rescue any detail. The issue was I had my camera on evaluative metering, so it was taking the whole of the thick black sky into account.
Duh……………… back out to take some more shots!
I set my camera to spot metering, to just use the light from the moon for the light metering, and that worked much better. I used my Tamron long lens too, at f/11 where it seems to operate best for detail. Even at 300mm though, the moon wasn’t that close in the frame; full as it maybe, tonights Harvest Moon was a “micro moon”, and 14% smaller than normal due to being at its furthest point from the earth in its orbit. That means it was 252,100 miles away…….. If you remember the super moon in February, that was 30,000 miles closer.
252,100 miles later, I’ve got my shots and, the detail I wanted, happy days!
But no, the drama wasn’t over, and I had some weird stuff happening in Lightroom when I developed my photos, and the edits dropped into a folder I have never even used for my photos before!
I found them, and proceeded to upload them to my Flickr……. but no, Flickr didn’t like my photographs at all, and three of the four kept failing the upload! Honestly, you couldn’t make this stuff up!!
I ditched Flickr, and decided to upload straigth into the blog post here, and thankfully that worked without any problems, or at least none so far.
Learnings – I tried a few different settings to get the best detail I could in the moon, and even tried “auto”, but the results were not what I wanted, probably due to the metering. In the end, my usual manual mode, with spot metering, f/11, ISO100, 1/80sec shutter and using exposure bracketing with the camera on its tripod, did the trick.
Have a great weekend!!