Monday, March 21, 2011

Big Moon Rising

Saturday night I and just about – it seemed – every other person in the D.C. area with anything from an iPhone to a cost-more-than-your-house camera decided to head to the hill by the Netherland’s Carillion. Why is this, you ask?

Well, turns out, for the photographically inclined, this little hill has one of the best views of D.C. Either straight down the Mall – from the Marine Corps War Memorial a short walk away – or slightly offset to the right from the Carillion. The view from the Carillion also doesn’t have all the trees and road signs you get from the MCWM.

Anyway, the reason we were all out there (my estimate is more than 500 shooters) is because of the risin’ of the Super Moon. The big bad moon was at perigee and, as it turns out, was at its closest point of approach in about 18 years (according to NASA).

It made for a pretty good picture. For example:

And this:

And these too:

I hung around a little longer than most people but, as I found out, the higher the moon got, the brighter it got, but the darker the sky got. This led to longer and longer exposures to get the monuments lit correctly, but it also eliminated the possibility of getting any features on the moon. Just as well, the higher it got, the smaller it looked. Kinda like Alice.

If you were out there I hope your shots turned out just as nice. If not, well, the moon is at perigee every month so better luck next time (although it won’t be as close for a while).

*Technical stuff - All of these were shot at an ISO (film speed) equivalent of 100. The first two are 5-second exposures at f/14; the next is a 2-second exposure at f/9; and the last is 4 seconds at f/7.1. Just in case you were wondering.


magnolia said...

the moon was just world-class gorgeous saturday night. these are fantastic.

suicide_blond said...

im terribly glad your shots came out so nicely...
mine were a feeble attempt...with not so much success... the moon and i ... we have a love hate thing...and sat she had alll the cards...

"Oh cruel moon don't shine on me
You'll bring me to her memory
Why you can't you leave me in the dark
You never had a broken heart"
~buddy miller

Alice said...

i neeeed to get a tripod one of these days.

we got an extra-special supermoon view when a pipe burst in our building at 3am and we had to all sit outside for 45 minutes while the fire department fixed it.