Out There

I shoot some odd scenes (more often than I’d like to admit) and when looking back I sometimes wonder what had gotten into my head to shoot them, then in a few cases, after a bit of consideration, I decide to process one anyway…

This is one of those “odd” scenes; it was almost twilight I guess, the sun had set (officially), yet there was light in the sky… and the crescent moon was still in the sky…  clouds were covering parts of the sky, not necessarily in a pretty way, yet I had the inclination to snap a few shots.

At this time of the year, the crescent moon is more like a smile than during mid-year when it’s more sideways…  I’ve heard it referred to as the Smiling Moon, or the Cheshire Moon (a reference to the smile of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland); in Hawaiian mythology and folklore it’s also called the Wet Moon, because of the “bowl” shape it resembles at this time, with “wet” referring to the moon holding the waters of the rains that were soon to come…

I digress….

It’s an odd scene for me, so I took some time to process it since it was not an easy one (processing-wise, that is)…  I used Nik Silver Efex, and did some exposure reduction in the upper portion to further emphasize the moon and the star (nothing has been added or removed).

2011  |  Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 18-270mm

Depending on our cultural, religious or scientific knowledge and beliefs, we will each look up into the sky and wonder different things; about what is “out there”, the myths and legends of ancient civilisations colour our imaginations, the teachings of our theologies ask us to believe in our maker(s) and for some an after-life, astronomers and movie-makers give further impetus to our imaginations of worlds and galaxies more spectacular than the pin-point stars we see with the naked eye…  poets and song-writers pull at our heart-strings with words and melodies, with stories of love and lust under the darkened dome,

Most of us will never leave this rock we call Earth, but that should not stop our imaginations, our desires, our dreams, for there is undoubtedly more out there than we know.

Click on the image to see it in the Odds and Ends Gallery 🙂


2013 Deck – Week 41

I take photos of buildings, but I don’t share many of them, not many people seem to be interested in those types of photos.  Originally this was going to be a photo of a building, and then the warmth of the late afternoon sun lit up the grasses in the area, and also the pontoons around the pump station, and I thought that it would make a better landscape image.

I was originally shooting in landscape (horizontal) orientation, but then I noticed the moon, and tried a portrait oriented version that I came to like.

After a slight crop, I decided that I wanted it for the Deck Project, even though I still think that there are others from this walk that I think are better.  I had shot this with the Sigma Ultra-wide 10-20mm on the Canon 60D.

This is the pump station on the seawall along the Lusignan – Anandale area, I’m sure the fishermen in the area must be getting accustomed to seeing people with cameras in the area by now 🙂

This was one of the few times I approached a scene with a preconceived idea of what I wanted, and as usually happens, I usually never get what was in my mind’s eye, but keeping my mind open to the possibilities around, I came away with good images none-the-less, simply because the scene itself gave to the process.

I hope you like it.

Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with other images from this Year’s Deck Project.

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.

2012 Deck – Week 18

Lunar Perigee and the 2012 Supermoon

In 2011 and 2012 there was much reference to the term Supermoon, which is an astrological term, as opposed to the Astronomical term Perigee.  What was so Super about it? Well, I was out there and it looked like a regular full moon, but we’d all love to believe that we could see it larger and brighter than at other times 🙂

Perigee is the time at which the moon is closest in its orbit to the earth (doesn’t matter what phase it’s in), while the Supermoon refers to a New or Full moon that occurs when the moon is within 90% of its closest approach to the earth in its orbit.  So I suppose that the perfect Supermoon would be a Full moon at Perigee  🙂  (incidentally, the time when the moon is furthest away from the earth in its orbit is called Apogee)

The Perigee varies from around 357,000km to 369,000km (in roundish figures), and while a difference of 12,000km sounds like a lot, the difference to the naked eye is negligible.

On May 5th, the moon was at its fullest at 1 minute to its perigee, so that’s about as perfect a Supermoon as we can get I suppose.

Anyway… on May 5th this year, I was up the coast near Lusignan when this year’s “Supermoon” was supposed to occur, two things happened (well, more than two, but two that are relevant to this post); I had lent out my telephoto lens, so getting a close-up was out of the question, and the clouds were conspiring against me, So I ended up with a wide shot full of clouds  🙂

After playing hide-and-seek with the moon for several minutes I gave up and headed out, one that I took would work, so this is one that worked  🙂

Click on the image to see it 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.


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  🙂