Monday, September 28, 2015

The Veiled Moon





The night is dark and velvety,

All Nature seems asleep;

The moon has covered, well, her face,

As if in sorrow, deep.

~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "The Prayer of the Moon" (1940s)

 



Last night, around 7:15 p.m. (PST), was a full 'Blood Moon.' A full moon phase and a full lunar eclipse at the same time. The skies were clear and gave a spectacular view of nature's show. People in North and South America, Europe, Africa, and parts of West Asia and the eastern Pacific were able to watch Earth's shadow pass across the face of a full and otherwise bright moon. The last occurrence was 33 years ago and the next will be in 32 years. I may never see another and I treasure this experience.


I was ready... batteries charged, I gathered my camera, tripod, camp chair, flashlight, and laptop for a trek across the property to a nice clear spot next to a field. I then settled in and waited. Unfortunately for me, the beginning of the eclipse was obscured by atmospheric haze and the hills of West Salem.


And then, I was finally able to see the outline of the moon with a full veil of shadow across her face. There wasn't enough light for my camera to pick up an image very well, but I managed to get a few. Once the darkness began to pass, the details got clearer.




 

I stayed and watched the full show. Good thing I had the sense to wear a warm coat. Every once in a while, I would turn everything off and just enjoy watching the eclipse. I wondered at how those who lived hundreds or thousands of years ago saw this same event. No wonder they thought it was such a mystical and spiritual thing. If we can set aside our knowledge of technology and science, then it still is. We can still experience the wonder of such a magnificent view.




 

I now have hundreds of images of full and partial moons. They improve as I gradually get to know my camera. It is a nice little Sony DSC H300 Cybershot. If I could afford it, I would take a photo class to learn everything about it. For now, I refer to the pdf manual and online advice. I hope someday to have a DSLR so I can use a longer lens. 

 


I have three interests (or obsessions if you must...) as subjects in my photography. I seem to be amassing an extraordinary amount of images of shadows, moons, and frogs. This is probably because they all offer so many photo opportunities and I find so much beauty in them. I was hoping last night to mix all three and see if I could get a picture of the frogs and their shadows by moonlight. Sadly, that meant waiting until about 2-3 a.m. and I fell asleep. But will try again when moonlight is good. With Autumn here, it should probably be soon.

 

 

Note: The only software manipulation of these images are slight adjustments for contrast and cropping. All variances in colour or detail are due to camera settings and nature.


2 comments:

  1. These photos are stunning. I saw most of the Eclipse - quite the experience. No photos though, as my batteries ran out as I was trying to figure out the camera settings!

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    1. Thank you Donna! I learned the hard way to have batteries ready. I also figured out some of the settings the day before. But even so, I still played with them while taking pics. I learn a little bit more every time I use it. I actually had fun sitting out there in the dark by myself. Heard rustling once and turned on the flashlite and made noise. Worried it might be a skunk.

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