Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Moon Shot - Finally Nailed It

After my recent success capturing the Roosevelt Bridge at night after so many years, I thought I would try once more to capture a clear shot of the full moon. I left all the settings on the camera untouched and waited the almost two weeks to make the shot. The results were instantly disappointing. Nothing but a white blob. The thing I like about photography is the constant learning curve. The constant frustration can get old sometimes though. 

I am still and will likely always be an amateur photographer with expensive but mostly all used equipment.  My $1,800.00 used lens, as good as it is, just can not seem to make this shot with my level of skill. 

I had some luck previously with my $99.00 Vivitar Series 1 lens with the 2X converter giving me a full 1,000 MM. This is a fully manual lens. I set the camera to 400 ISO but the focus and aperture are manually set on the lens.

The one thing I had always done in the past was set the aperture wide open. For this shoot, I slowly closed the aperture, took a few shots, closed a bit more. I also used the remote to lift the mirror, count to 5, then take the shot. There was a pretty small shutter speed range I could use. If I had a bright smear or black screen, I knew I was out of the range. I took about 100 shots and only these two had the magic. 

Many years ago bought the wrong sized UV filter for one of my lenses. I just threw it in a junk drawer. A few months ago I found it and checked to see if it fit anything. It only fit this cheap lens so I put it on and took a few shots then put the lens back in the cabinet. I forgot to take it off for the moon shot. Seems pretty fortunate now. All of my moon photos to this point have always been less than crisp. 

I may not be a pro but I am persistent. I think I'll take this setup out in the daylight once in a while as well. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Roosevelt Bridge - Stuart FL

Long before I moved to this area, I attempted to take an artful photo of this bridge. I seen many photos from other photographers and it didn't seem that difficult. Three cameras, three lenses, 2 tripods, multiple combinations of equipment, dozens of settings, hours upon hours, and several locations later, I have finally captured a few photos worth sharing with the world.


The actual magical mix was, in the end, pretty basic. I was just missing one important element at a time to create awful photos, not worth the edit time. I could of course do better and I will keep trying but these three are pretty close to what I was aiming to achieve.


What's more important is I kept trying for years. Photography is one of those fun hobbies that is as frustrating as it is rewarding and always with more to learn.