Beyond The Campfire was created to encourage readers to explore the great outdoors and to observe it close up. Get out and take a hike, go fishing or canoeing, or simply stretch out on a blanket under a summer sky...and take your camera along. We'll talk about combining outdoor activities with photography. We'll look at everything from improving your understanding of the basics of photography to more advanced techniques including things like how to see photographically and capturing the light. We'll explore the night sky, location shoots, using off camera speedlights along with nature and landscape. Grab your camera...strap on your hiking boots...and join me. I think you will enjoy the adventure.

The Dark Horse Region

The Dark Horse Region
A View into the center of the Milky Way

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Nbr 5 - What I like about this Shot - Moon Snow

Winter is one of the most demanding of times to photograph. It can also be one of the most amazing. Skies can turn crystal clear or they can turn ominous and dark. You will discover a fresh crispness not found any other time of year. Winter also presents itself as daily new photographic opportunities, and when the day turns white the opportunity becomes magical. During the winter of '15 - '16 Kentucky was turned into a brilliant world of white experiencing one of the heaviest snowfalls on record. It was a photo opportunity the likes of which I have rarely been accustomed to.

As a photographer I often either plan my outings or at least have an idea of what I want to accomplish. Sometimes, things just happen and I get lucky. Moon Snow is one such image. The sun was still fifteen or twenty minutes from rising and the moon was about the same amount of time from setting. During this time one can experience one of the most interesting astronomical phenomenons. Just before the sun rises and because of the curvature of the earth the sun rays will often penetrate through the upper layers of the atmosphere and cause two things to happen. One, to the west, the earth will cast its shadow into the lower levels of the atmosphere and the sun's rays will cause the upper layers to glow pink. These can be easily seen on clear mornings. On this morning, there was a near full moon about to set and because the sky was clear, the shadow and pink glow are readily visible in this image. Just above ground level there is a dark band...this is the earths shadow being cast into the atmosphere. Above the shadow is the pink glow...caused by the suns rays penetrating through the atmosphere, and to the left of the old shed sits the moon.

Why do I like this shot? It captures this lighting phenomenon as well as any I've ever made and the image retains that still, penetrating coldness that is so much a part of what capturing  the flavor of winter is all about.

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