Shoot the Moon

The moon is one of those celestial bodies that seems to captivate no matter the day, no matter the season.  Admittedly, sometimes I look at the moon and think of the Death Star.  But most times, when I look to the sky and take notice of it and dwell on it, I just lose myself in thought, contemplating why it's there and how perfectly it works with the sun to influence the earth's tides.

Sometimes when I photograph it, it's hit and miss.  The photos below are some of the best shots of the moon I've taken since Summer 2014, when I got my first DSLR.

ISO 200   50-140mm lens at 140mm   f/8   1/125sec

The above is a fairly standard shot, no clouds, and the moon is nice bright.  It was shot with just the Fuji X-T1.  The 50-140mm Fuji lens is very very sharp, but it doesn't really have the reach that I'd like.  It's a toss-up between getting close and getting sharp, so I opted with getting a sharper image.

ISO 200   16-55mm lens at 16.5mm   f/9   30sec

The above shot, I've posted before on the blog.  It was taken at Brazen Racing's Lagoon Valley Half Marathon / 10K / 5K race.  Shot with the X-T2 with an extended exposure, the moon looks like the sun.  I was hoping to somehow get all of the surface of the moon details in the above shot, but it was a trade-off between exposing for the moon or exposing for the awesome halo of high clouds surrounding the moon.  Since the halo was the most interesting, I went for exposure on that and let the moon look totally blown out.  Though a nice side effect were the rays coming out of the moon.  And the stars!  I didn't realize that the stars in Orion's Belt were different colors!

The next set of shots were taken in the Fredericksburg area, the night of a supermoon.  I shot these from the parking lot of the Wegman's with the Fuji X-T2 and 16-55mm lens mounted on it.  I am consistently impressed with the quality of the images from the X-T2 (though not impressed with its weather-sealing).

The quality of the X-T2 images are such that you really can zoom in on an image and still have it look nice and crisp.  I think the above images would have been even sharper if I had used a prime lens like the 90mm f/2.

ISO 800   50-140mm lens at 140mm   f/4   1/30sec

I took the above shot during the last full moon of 2016.  The clouds just provided an awesome (and perhaps ominous) scene.  I took the temperature down just a little bit to give it that bluish look and lifted the shadows in order to show the tree in the foreground.  I reckon this photos will find it's way onto my Fine Art America account eventually.

This final shot is my favorite so far.

ISO 800   70-200mm lens at 200mm   f/2.8   1/100sec

The interesting thing is that I shot this image in March 2015 with my Canon 70D and 70-200mm lens mounted.  It's a Virgin America Airbus 320 coming in for a landing at San Francisco International Airport.  You can clearly see the shape and wingtips of the Airbus 320 series, plus the exhaust coming out of the engines.  The above image was cropped a little bit.  The supermoon rising behind it just makes the image so spectacular!

One wonders what 2017 will bring as far as full moon shots.  I can't wait!