Friday, January 05, 2007

Shoot The Moon

BetterArf gave me a book on digital photography for Christmas (just a hint that I'd better use the Sony H2 digital camera she also got me). There's a lot of great stuff in this book, but I was particularly interested in one example piece: how to get a detailed picture of the moon but still retain a decent foreground image. The sample shot showed the White House at dusk with a finely detailed moon just over its shoulder. The text described how you could get such a shot of the moon. And then the different requirements for how you could get the foreground image. And then the steps you would take in Photoshop to blend them together. Huh!

Anyhoo, as soon as I got the camera and read the book, I was keen to do some moon shots. At Christmas we only had half a moon: I took a pretty good test shot, but tonight the moon is 95% full, waning gibbous, so I wanted to have a go at the whole thing. I could not see the moon from our balcony, so at about 9.30 pm I went out to see if it had risen and was visible from some other location. It had and it was, so I went back to the apartment to pick up the camera and the tripod.

We ventured out a little bit and tried a shot or two, but light pollution from the street light was a problem. So we ventured across the perimeter road and a few hundred metres into the desert. I must admit the guidance given in my book was a little bit vague, and I must have taken a dozen shots before finally getting one that worked.

Good eh? You can almost see the London Bus and the remains of the Lunar Module that are parked there! Now I want to try to get a shot just as it is rising. A couple of years ago I spent New Year's Eve on Jebel Ali Beach. The moon rose exactly at midnight and it was gigantic - an amazing sight, but nobody had a camera! If I could get a shot like that I would be a happy bunny indeed.