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Posts tagged “corvallis

Super duper moon

Yay, super duper moon tonight. I thought we’d miss it entirely, but around 7 p.m. the clouds that had blanketed Corvallis all day lift, lucky me!

I’m not prepared – figuring the clouds would foil me as they did when I wanted to shoot the last lunar eclipse – so I didn’t wander around town today looking for a good spot to shoot like I thought I would. With the moonrise coming (scheduled for 8:24p), I talk Adam into going out to Bald Hill farm with our bikes and Yoshi at 7:15.

We bike the path until I find a nice hill ( I worried it was on someone’s property, but went ahead and set up, anyway). Then I check my compas, set up the tripod to that.

And am ready to go, it’s 7:50.

Then I check my iPhone Star Walk app, and it says the moon is actually a little more north – I move and set up again. Am ready to go … again … by 8:10.

Then we wait. It’s pretty darn cold out here. Yoshi’s even getting cold; course, he had a haircut Monday, so he’s practically naked. I’d be cold, too.

The moon’s supposed to come up at 8:24. By 8:30, I’m like wtf is up? I check Star Walk, it says it’s coming up? What gives?

THEN, I notice the semitransparent, nearly not there, huge as hell half circle coming up about 30 degrees south from where Star Walk says the moon is.

Thanks for nothing Star Walk app.

Here’s how ghostly the moon was first coming up. We missed the first half of it coming up because we weren’t looking in the right direction and it was barely there anyway. Maybe that’s a result of the haze? It was so big I wasn’t even sure it WAS the moon, thinking it was a cloud that just happened to be in a perfect circle (dur!)

Here’s my best close up. We were treated to a beautiful pink orb.

Because it was so barely there (isn’t this moon supposed to be 30 percent brighter than normal? It sure wasn’t putting that face on for us tonight) I had to drop down the shutter speed to get in more light , which means the moon has some movement so it’s not as completely crisp as I would have preferred (darn atmosphere!). But the purpose of tonight’s trip was to capture the horizon illusion, and I think I did – that was fun! In this one, notice Reser Stadium in the lower left corner.

Here’s a bunch o cold crazies!


In the dark

I’m a few weeks into my 50 days of 50 mm project – I’ve just been too busy to edit through things and share.

Well, OK, let’s be honest – I’ve been reading Suzanne Collins – wtf. Anyway…

A few nights ago on my way home, I passed the Corvallis Mosque and loved the soft green glow the towers give off at night. In my mind I could picture a neat angle with the moon, a clear sky, green turrets – Post card worthy – in my mind.

Tonight as I hopped on my bike to head home, I noticed the full moon, clear sky, and despite the mercury dipping below freezing by a lot, I thought, why not now if ever.

So here’s what I got just off my bike, no tripod with my camera practically laying in the grass.

I got madame watermark up and running. Mayhaps I’ll put her on a diet in a few weeks.

So, considering what I was working with – no tripod, 50  mm, grass … toe numbing cold + I was afraid every second I was there a cop was going to approach me after what happened there a few years ago in the middle of the night …. It’s not a bad shot.

But  I wanted that damn post card.

So after a warm shower  two hours later, I finally got the courage to drag out tripod and the 300 mm. After a half an hour of trying to remember how to USE the tripod, 10 minutes of warming up the car – I was once again outside the mosque, only to find the moon had moved just enough, creating an angle that’s not at all post card, that invoves me liniing up my shot in the middle of the street through power lines – grumble grumble grumble.

After several attempts and frozen fingers, I gave up – but, I finally have a pretty moon shot I’ve always wanted to take.

On the fence

Although it’s been a rough couple of months, I’m eager to start making lemonade or whatever.

On the bright side, I now have a Canon 7D (quite a step up from my Rebel T3i) and some decent lenses.

I’m teaching myself Lightroom (thanks Scott Kelby) and even purchased my own personal software licence – I’m a big kid now!
I’ve still got a ways to go, and several more chapters before I finish my tour with the program – I think the next session includes blemish coverup (no thanks). You have my permission to shoot me if I ever abuse the built in filters, color selection and vignette …

I’m most familiar with Photoshop. A good metaphor would be an automatic (LR) vs. a manual transmission (PS). In Lightroom, I can get to all the same places I can with PS, but I keep reaching for the imaginary stick. Once I stop relying on my old PS habits, I’ll get there faster. The program is more efficient for what I need, especially for content editing (not every photo is meant to be seen.)

Here’s my first stab at editing my own photo completely in Lightroom, Coco kitty in our backyard.
Coco’s on the fence about my watermark, too. I hope to get something more professional soon.

In April, I’ll be attending a weekend workshop with the Rocky Mountain School of Photography with Briana.
It has all the promise of a perfect getaway: Good friend, Seattle and cameras.

Small steps, but steps none the less. Cross your fingers I’ll keep it up so I’ll continue to learn the tools that will allow me to grow as a photographer.

Top photos 2010: Corvallis

Whiteside Theater
Central Park ballerina

Coming tomorrow: Top wildlife/pet shots
Top Travel shots