Beyond The Campfire was created to encourage readers to explore the great outdoors and to look at it more closely. 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 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 Jeep

The Jeep
The Jeep

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Nbr 6 - What I like About This Shot - Super Moon Above the Corvette Museum

Seems to me we've had several Super Moon events in recent times. Seems like each time they say we won't see this again for X nbr of years...then before long another one appears. Doesn't make much difference in the scheme of things except to provide a photographer an excuse to get out and take some interesting shots.

I've photographed the moon dozens of times, mostly when it is not full because the shadows of a partially lit moon bring out a more interesting array of features. Full moons however, have an almost mystic complexity to them. It is the kind of complexity where one is drawn into its mystery. It is not difficult to photograph the moon as long as you approach it with the right set of exposure values. What is more difficult is to place the moon inside an interesting composition, one where its mystery, its history, its magical properties are all inner woven into the fabric of the composition.


This image was taken during the latest and greatest 2016 super moon event. To be honest, I wasn't even contemplating getting out to photograph it until a friend called me and asked if I would join him and another person at the Corvette Museum to photograph the event. It turned out to be a good decision. For several months, years really, I've wanted to photograph the Sky Dome and pinnacle portion of the museum as it is a unique archetechural design, just never made time to do so. The Sky Dome, if you recall, is where the sinkhole opened up and dumped 8 beautifully restored Corvettes into the abys. Five of those cars were completely destroyed with no hope of being re-restored. The standing water sits in the bottom of another ancient sinkhole and there are several other ones nearby. So there is a bit of historical and geological significance with this location.

I must admit something here, well two somethings really. First of all, yes the moon did appear above the museum and it was magnificent. Secondly...it wasn't exactly in this location. It was close, just a bit further to the right off the frame from this angle. Also, the Sky Dome image was taken before the moon appeared, to take advantage of the twilight sky and reflection in the water pool. I also used a one-stop graduated neutral density filter to bring the sky and its reflection into exposure sync . A separate shot of the moon was captured with a longer focal length lense and superimposed it into this composition slightly to the left of where it actually would have been. Had you been standing at a slightly different angle a few yards to the left, the moon rise looked very much like this but would not have been reflected in the water. I simply took my artist perogative and moved it slightly to create a more interesting composition. Some purist will frown at me for having done this. Frankly, I'm not concerned about it. The technique is nothing new or unethical and the end result speaks for itself and reflects the true nature of this magical moment.

So having clarified the situation...What do I like about this image? Compositonally it is very strong. The color contrasts between the Sky Dome and the sky create a vibration of opposing colors. The moon simply places the composition into a unique moment in time and adds a spectacular element of interest...and yes, it really did look like this for the most part, and that is what makes it a fun image.

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