2012 Deck – Week 38

Many moons ago, I sometimes took a few minutes to stare up at the stars and the moon, and let my mind wander, I haven’t done that in quite some time.  If you look at a child’s drawing, or an icon that is supposed to represent night, the moon is shaped in the crescent form, probably because the full moon would look like just a circle, and can be interpreted in many ways, but the crescent shape is instantly recognizable as the moon.

In Guyana it is not very common, but I’ve often seen drawings or paintings, and scenes in a movie or show where an old outhouse (the pit latrine) had a Crescent Moon carved on the door.  Many people see it as being decorative, the true significance have been forgotten by many and almost lost to the ages.  Apparently in ancient times the doors of the latrines were marked to identify the gender, the sun or star being for males (after the sun god Helios or similar deity) and the moon for the women (after the goddess of the moon, Celine or Selene, or similar deity).  So far the working theory as to why one with the sun or star symbol has been seen or recorded is that the women took better care of their out-houses 🙂

One night I got a message from Savita asking if I’d seen the moon that night, I hadn’t, and I told her so, she was excited that there was a star right next to the moon in the sky, and she hoped one of us could get a decent photo of it… I tried.

Not sure if you’ll see the star… but it’s there  🙂  Click on the image to see it better in the Gallery, along with a few other images in the Night album

“Par” for the course

In October of 2009, I witnessed my second Parhelion, or Sundog, a natural phenomena, it wasn’t anything spectacular as those you see in the more northern or southern regions, but a complete halo around the sun, really large halo.

They are apparently caused by the effect of the sunlight passing through ice-crystals in the air (we’re in the tropics, ice-crystals??).  In the photo above, you can see the relative size compared with the portion of Central Garage’s building sticking out of the corner  🙂

A few nights ago, my friend Savita messaged me asking if I’d seen the moon that evening, on looking, I was amazed to see the same effect with the moon, called a Parselene.

Given my experience with lunar sky photography, I did not expect a great image out of it, so I’d say this one is just about par for the course  🙂

It may be difficult to see, depending on your monitor’s calibration  🙂  With the naked eye, I could actually see the rainbow of colours in the halo, off to the right of the image is the power-line to my house  🙂

As always, click on each image to see them better in the Gallery.

2011 Deck – Week 45

This week’s photo serves two purposes, one is a short explanation of “how I did it” and the second is… well, it’s a moon shot, what’s not to like  🙂

Someone recently asked me how I got the moon with such detail, I had to have someone give me tips once, so its easy to pass along what I know, hopefully someone else can improve and even tell me other things 🙂

Shooting the moon.  First tip, use a tripod, it helps to have a stable camera when you’re doing this (most of my moon shots were without tripods though), The important bit is the metering, I use a spot metering mode.  I simply set the camera to spot metering, (my camera only uses the centre focus point for this), I use the centre focusing spot in the display, make sure that is centred on the moon, and half-press the shutter-button to focus, then recompose and click.  Really simple.

What the spot-metering does is meter the lighting for just the moon instead of trying to evaluate the lighting of the entire scene (in this case the whole sky)

Now normally we crop these images to show the moon in its full glory, well, I crop it since this is the whole image from my maximum zoom on the Tamron 18-270 lens.  I left this uncropped because I actually like it this way this time.

The moon is set against a dark sky (it was somewhat lighter before I processed), I look at it and think that it must be lonely up there, I’ll never fly into space like those great astronauts and cosmonauts, not fly to the upper atmospheres like jet-fighter pilots, but I still think that even after the initial moments of wonder and awe, it must be lonesome up there.  I am thankful for the family I have, the friends I have, the co-workers that I have (even those that have moved on).

If you’re ever feeling lonely, go out under the open sky, look at the moon and remember that under that same moon, there are billions of people, and somewhere there is someone who is thinking of you.

Alone

Because of the background colour (at the time of writing this) I suggest you click on the image for a better viewing at the Gallery  🙂