Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Thanks to an all-too-rare-this-time-of-year clear sky, there was a rather incredible waning-crescent moon rise on Monday. (And although Venus has a good lead on the moon these days, it can yet be captured in the same frame.) Still don't have the tripod within reach for these spur of the moment and fleeting photo opportunities, nor do I yet have a handle on aperture settings or how to get a basic little lens to focus on a relatively small, very distant point behind many detailed objects, but I did have a chance to play with exposure.

This is what the camera saw when allowed to set its own exposure time. Wow. What I was actually seeing with my relatively good night vision wasn't anywhere near close to this… (Trust me, there's a sliver of a moon hiding alongside that very straight-trunked tree on the left.) Because sunrise was in fact a bare hint on the horizon, the camera left the diaphragm open a good long while and the circuit board soaked up as much light info as fast as the wee little processors could handle. (It is also amazing how in-focus this shot is given the long exposure and my very shaky grasp on the camera.)

Whoops, not enough time to let the pixels percolate. (That's the moon, not dust on your monitor!)

Ah-ha, that's closer to what I was actually seeing. (Ok, as dark as this is, I had to cheat and lighten the exposure. Reducing the photo and posting it darkened it up considerably from what it looked like straight out of the camera.)

Still to be learned: (1) Figure how to shoot on a tripod out this window, and make sure the tripod is in the house when it's needed to shoot out this window. (2) Work on learning about aperture settings, because the tripod doesn't bear the sole responsibility for clear focus.