The Learning Process Illustrated

Monday night was cloudy, but it was also a full moon, so after dark I grabbed my camera and headed outside. This was my second attempt to “shoot the moon” and although I still don’t think my results are outstanding I was super pleased with the knowledge I was able to bring to the table in a way that I was unable to do the first time.

This shot was from my first try last month. When I went out with my camera on this one, all I could think was that I was in a low light situation. So I turned my ISO up and gave it a long shutter speed. I was over exposing the moon and it was just this ugly white blob in the middle of a dark sky. I played with shutter speed and aperture but, although it is obvious now, considering that my ISO was way too high for such a bright object never crossed my mind. It was dark out.

In the end I figured I was stuck with the bright glowing light and decided to instead just change my foreground. I actually like the story this shot tells. I find all the shots I got that night to be cold, dark and mysterious. They are hard to puzzle out. I find the branches even have somewhat of an icy look to them. I also like that it is not a traditional shot of the moon.

In spite of my satisfaction with the shots that I did get, I was frustrated that I didn’t know what to do to pull off the shot I had envisioned. Fast forward thirty days later after a month of photography classes and looking at probably thousands of photos, taking a few of my own and now having a kindergartner’s understanding of the difference between dark and light and I was able to get the above shot. It took some patience as I had to wait for the clouds to move to get the clear shot, but, this was closer to what I was going after.

Then I decided to play with those fast moving clouds and the fact that I had a tool that could manipulate how bright that moon appeared and how much the motion of those clouds could be captured.

The above shot is the result of my playing around. What I love about this shot, is I understood how changing my settings would bring on the resulting changes to the image. This gives me such an “end of times” feeling. I should note this one is post processed, not much but I did play a little with the highlights and shadows. I hate post processing and refuse to spend much time on it, so this probably has about 120 seconds of work.

What’s really cool about this shot and the clear one of the moon is that they were taken within the same 30 minute photo shoot, from the exact same spot in my yard. The only things I altered were the angle of my tripod and the manual settings on my camera.

This photography stuff is getting more fun!!!!!!

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