Sunday night the moon was spectacular – almost, but not quite full, with enough of a terminator line to highlight features on the lunar surface. I grabbed my camera and Celestron C90 telescope and headed out to the front yard to snap a few shots. I started with a 2X multiplier, but the camera shake was so bad I almost gave up. Even so, I was able to get a couple of usable shots.
Then Monday rolls around. I had Chorale rehearsal that evening (despite the fact that we had spent all weekend rehearsing and giving a concert), and I was waiting for a plumber to show up to do some repair work. Waiting in our front yard, I glanced up just in time to see a flutter of wings. A beautiful barred owl had landed in a tree right across the street from our house. I grabbed my camera and tripod out of the car and snapped these shots…
This was just with my 18-200 mm lens, cropped, and digitally enlarged a bit in Photoshop. I didn’t have time to get the telescope, and the light was fading too quickly.
As clear as today was, and as beautiful as the moon was the past two evenings, I planned ahead for this evening. My plan was to take the telescope and camera up to Herdklotz park and try to get a shot of the moonrise.
When I got to the park I knew I was in trouble. The city had erected new stadium lights over the soccer fields, and play was in full swing. At this point, though, I was committed. My GPS indicated that moonrise was imminent, and I didn’t have time to go somewhere else and set up. The location did have a clear view south and east, so I was hoping that I could shoot through the lights.
Of course, as I set up my gear I was accosted by parents, thinking I was there to photograph their children on the soccer field. A couple of them came by and asked what I was doing, and in my friendliest, non-pedophile voice I explained. They seemed to accept this, but also kept an eye on me. The world has become much too paranoid.
The appointed time came and went, and I realized I was in the wrong position. The moon was rising as a brilliant orange ball behind a set of trees farther east than I had planned. I almost gave up, but was able to walk down to the southern edge of the park and get a couple of shots, just not the ones I really wanted.
Oh well. I think I still got a decent shot.
Next full moon (Wednesday, December 2) I’m going to try heading up to St. James Church parking lot. I think it’s got better all-around views, with only housing developments below. I just hope I don’t get accosted this time.
3 thoughts on “Owls and the Moon”
IMO the orange moon shot would make a good wall hanging in the “tabloid” size printout. In the same format as above, with the moon off-center and on the black background with the “broken format” provided by the trees partially overlapping the moon. Cool shot. Might need to run a sharpening filter on it. Or not.
I already ran a sharpening filter, both on the raw file and when I got it into Photoshop. The problem is that the only way to focus the telescope is to twist the tube. There is no fine focus. Also, camera shake is a HUGE problem with the T-mount. I really need a new telescope.
Beautiful moon pictures….
Hey…glad you could capture a picture of my owl friend. I see him flying a lot and hear him even more. I love our street because of the wildlife!