2014—Still Awesome At 96% Full

There is something so powerfully intriguing to me about the moon that I never tire of photographing it. I missed the full Blood Moon early Wednesday morning (I did feature the last one here and here ) but this evening, as I drove home from Sacramento after listening to Sacramento Bee Photographer Randall Benton talk about “secrets” of photography, I thought about his Blood Moon photographs in the morning’s paper and watched the almost full moon low in the night sky. I decided I’d photograph it when I got home. Although it’s not quite full—only 96% visible—I really prefer a less-than-full moon because more of the details and craters on the surface are visible.

Randall also mentioned the Sunny 16 rule, unrelated to photographing the moon, and it is a rule I follow often as a starting point when I’m photographing outdoors in daylight. I know that this rule also applies to moon shots so that’s how I set my camera: f/16, ISO 200, 1/200s

I attached the 1.4X teleconverter to the 80-400mm lens and attached both of those to the D7100. I went out to see exactly where the moon was in the sky and whether I had to wait a while before it rose above the neighbor’s roof top. It was high enough so I steadied the camera and took a few shots hand held before getting the tripod just to make sure I had the settings right. I was astonished at the clarity of the shots. When I attached the tripod, I could hardly tell the difference.

The first shot is the hand held shot. The second is with the tripod. That 80-400mm lens is really an astonishing lens. I made a few minor tweaks in light room and applied the same adjustment to both shots.



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