A Plan and Coincidence

The Plan:  Last week I planned to shoot sunrise primarily to capture the moon set.  The weather cooperated though it was a little windy.  The location decided upon worked well for this time of year due to the position of the moon.  If photographed later in the summer, the moon would be too far to the right of the frame and even completely outside of the frame come late June when Summer officially arrives.  This position can be attained again in Autumn, but I have not used The Photographers Emphemeris to determined the exact date.

The Coincidence:  With a location decided upon and photographing the moon set the goal, I set out early in the morning.  The convenient coincidence is the path of the Palouse River.  Though the river snakes it way through the scene, one might assume it continues to snake in a similar manner below the bottom of the frame, especially with how the river bends.  However, the path of the river that comes in from the lower left hand side is only there during the early spring run-off.  I revisited previous photos I had taken in Summer and found that portion of the river is indeed dry, all but for a tiny pool.  The river actually runs in from the left side of the frame and makes a 90 degree turn, resulting in the meandering seen here.

Needless to say, I was pleased with the outcome, especially learning of the coincidence of the river flow aiding my pre-planned photographic idea.

Palouse River Moonset, Spring

Technical Details:  This photograph is the result of nine different exposures but 12 total files.  Three of the darkest exposures taken were further decreased by -2 exposure compensation in ACR.  The resulting 12 files were stitched, of which each image was a combination of four images (three HDR images of four files each were used) to capture highlight and shadow detail (4×3).  In short, it is a multi-stitch panorama HDR image.  The resulting stitch worked best as a 4×5 aspect ratio instead of 2×3; I had too much overlap on my panorama images.

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Palouse Harvest Moon

I have many many pictures and posts to get caught up sharing my summer photographs.  I suppose I will begin catching up by sharing some more recent photographs.  Late September this year, the harvest moon gave me a couple good opportunities to photograph in the morning and evening.  Usually shooting a full moon rising or setting can be done on separate days, based mostly on when the sunrise/sunset is relative to moonset/moonrise, respectively.  Of course, depending on the subject, having the moon higher in the sky yet almost full would cause the photograph to be taken two or three days from the actual full moon.  Anyway, all these times can be understood by downloading The Photographer’s Ephemeris and studying the times around the full moon.

The most difficult aspect of moon photography is having the conditions cooperate.  There have been times I have wanted to shoot the moon in the morning or evening, only to be nullified by clouds.  Some clouds can be nice, but I prefer clearer skies leading to increased chances of capturing the moon how I have envisioned.  September 19, 2013 the moonset coincided nicely with sunrise, as did moonrise at sunset.  I thought it pretty unique capturing both events on the bookends of the day.

Technical Details:  Both shots were taken with a 70-200 f/4 + 1.4x Canon lens using a 3-stop soft Lee Graduated Neutral Density filter.  I decreased the saturation of the orange channel in ACR to help give the moon a more natural color.  Many channel masks were used in Photoshop (Tony Kuyper methods) to balance the contrast, luminosity, and saturation.

Moonset over Steptoe

Moonrise over Palouse River Canyon