March Calendar Photo

The Story behind the imageItem_0004

The sun and moon on the eights.

These three photos were picked as they went well with the main photo of the moon, which has been a photographic challenge for me for a while. Taking a photo of the moon is quite an art. This moon shot was taken on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 8:15 PM with my 200-500mm lens with a teleconverter making it 700mm, with a 1/50 sec. f/13.

The challenge of a clean simple shot of the moon is a few facts that when stated seem obvious;

  1. It is really far away (238,900 miles / 363,105 km)
  2. It is moving really fast (2,288 mph / 3,683 kmph)
  3. It is really bright (12% of the Sun)

To get the straight up shot, you need a long zoom (700mm is good), you need to have fast shutter speed or you will get blur, and even though it is night, your looking at something that is over 10% the brightness of the sun!

This is the best shot I have gotten to date. the wider aperture of f/13 permits more detail in the photo.

The first of the two small photos was taken on a morning walk with Joan, Saturday, October 7, 2017 8:24 AM. I was carrying my new Nikon D850 and my walk around lens 28-300mm, 1/640 sec. f/13 300mm. I would like to say that I saw the bird in the distance, and waited until he arrived in the shot to get this, but really was just working on a forced perspective and the bird got in the way.

As I mentioned the moon is a tricky thing to photograph. You probably have seen the photos of the moon looking REALLY big with buildings seeming small. To get this effect you need a high zoom, and to be quite a ways from the building. The zoom lens will make the moon appear very large. I was working on this (the leaves in the photo) when the bird flew by. Though I did not get the leaves in focus, they are almost the size of the moon. The bird makes the photo, IMHO.


The last photograph had a bit more planning involved. I wanted to get a photograph of the setting sun over the mountains that we live near. Joan and I were out for our morning walk and I noticed a vantage point that looked like it would be a good setting sun spot, but where will the sun be?

Well there is an app for that…. PhotoPills, is an application for you phone that does many things for a photographer. One of them is to use the phones GPS to calculate where the sun will rise and set, and use augmented reality with the camera to show you the track. You hold the phone to the hills, and you see a line where the sun will track and set.

Joan and I walked along the ridge until we found a spot that we could see the hills through the trees and the sun ‘would be’ setting over.

That evening Joan and I walked back over to get the photo. Sunday, June 11, 2017 8:13 PM 1/250 sec. f/18 140mm.

On this outing, I was playing with ‘bracketing’.  This is where you take the same photograph at different exposures, and merge them in software to create a high dynamic range photograph. The photo I used for the photo is not a HDR. Here are three photos were that show the effect;

The exposure on the left (1/80 sec. f/18 140mm ISO 200) captures the rays of light, the middle (1/640 sec. f/18 140mm) a faster shutter speed, darkens the sky and grabs different textures of the clouds, and the right one (1/10 sec. f/18 140mm) the slowest shutter speed, lets the sun light the trees in the foreground. When you merge these photographs, you get the High Dynamic Range (HDR) that you can not from a single shot;


The resulting photograph has the trees lit, cloud texture, and wonderful rays from the setting sun.

The photograph though we choose for the calendar was on to the many (310 shots) that we took that evening, and turned out great as a single shot;


I love the orange glow that the natural light gave to the hills and clouds. Though the HDR photos did turn out well and show details not captured in the single shot, there is warmth to this one I like.

Though these photos were picked due to the relation to the large moon photo, while writing this I also noticed that all were taken at 8, ( 8:15 PM, 8:24 AM, and 8:13 PM).

Well, in like a LION and out like a lamb, so since this is late due to the power outage, may the luck of the Irish bring an earl y spring.

About the Author

Kevin Cossaboon

A networking profesional located in Northren Virginia, USA. My hobbies are Technology and Photography. Love playing with the latest technology, and will try to post reviews of them. Also love my life long journey of learning to capture light, to trigger emotions, through photography.

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