Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Eclipse Memories

Ed and I bundled up last night, took the camera equipment, and headed out to a nearby golf course just north of Tucson. Our objective was to photograph the eclipse of the full moon using a Nikon 1 J3 camera, my newest photographic purchase.

I used this Nikon in March when I photographed the full moon from the same spot, the fairway of Hole Thirteen at Highlands Golf Course on Dove Mountain. The camera was not kind to me in March. The battery charge would not hold and I had not studied up on shutter and aperture settings.

Photography is challenging enough because of the math and science involved, but add in some wind and late nights, and it becomes even tougher. My little point and shoot camera, my trusty Sony Cybershot, didn't do well at the March moon session either, so I put some effort into learning a bit more about nighttime photography. (The March session also involved a coyote who didn't like the fact that I had joined him on the golf course at night, but that is another story.)

The composite of eight moon shots is the result of a very late and long night. I added some more shots of the fully eclipsed moon to my digital "pile," but forgot as I took them that I haven't changed my new computer over to processing RAW files yet, so the .jpg files that you see in the composite lead up to the total eclipse.

We fought the golf course's sprinkler system, strong winds, and just plain tiredness to get these shots. The dominant memory of the night is of the minutes that the earth's shadow finally covered the moon. The winds suddenly died down, darkness settled across the Tuscon valley, and the stillness of the night with the rusty red orb of the moon floating high overhead descended on the early morning hours of Tuesday.

It was a lusciously dark, yet warm hearted, moment to remember -- Ed and me on a hill watching a big red moon. I'll take that any day.

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