30 January 2013

Driving home from work on Monday night, at 2054 (because I checked the clock), the moonrise was spectacular: full, orange and huge! Unable to take photographic advantage of that show, I carefully checked the very useful iPad app The Photographer’s Ephemeris for moonrise on Tuesday in my locale: 2121.

So last night I was out with my tripod and camera, standing like a numpty on the edge of a path through a local park, waiting for the moon to rise. A couple of teenage girls walked past chatting FOUR times (“And, like, then he went away to uni, and he said all these girls were asking him for his number, and, like, then he stopped texting me, and I was like,… etc!). I’m sure they thought I was some sort of complete freak: standing, in the growing dark, behind a camera aimed out over the harbour, not doing anything.

Anyway, the moon was late! Late, I tell you. (May have had something to do with a bit of a hill in the distance between me and the horizon.) So the wait was a bit longer than expected, but when the moon did rise, it was pretty pretty. Long exposure times were required – really long if I brought the ISO back to 100 – and I seem to be incapable of keeping the camera completely still on the tripod (possibly the fault of the strap moving in the light breeze). So I hiked the ISO up to 800. Consequently, I have more grain problems. I’ve attacked them without restraint in Photoshop’s Camera Raw noise reduction tool, but many of these images are “speckly”. I expect the speckles (as opposed to plain old grain) are more the product of tiny sources of light and a long exposure. (The local airfield traffic ruined several attempts, creating “UFO” lines.)

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