Moon chasing

Moon chasing

One of the better, and lesser known, web resources for any photographer is the U.S. Naval Observatory web site, where, among other things, you can obtain sun and moon data – rise, set, twilight – for any given day, in any given year, in any given location. I have been paying attention to the data for this month’s full moon, and I knew I would be able to get some good sunrise-moonset or moonrise-sunset photos. I misread the data this morning, thinking there would be a moonrise at the same time as sunrise. So, I wasn’t looking at the right place at the right time. But, I rechecked the data, and knew there would be a good chance I could get one of my dream shots of the downtown skyline – the moon looming big behind the mountains with alpenglow on the Chugach and golden light on the city. Using my 300mm lens, I took sixteen vertical panels in RAW to stitch together later in Photoshop. This turns out to be a 70×17 inch print. I am testing CS4, and have found that it’s ability to merge photo files into a seamless panoramic are simply amazing. The other series I did was twenty-eight panels using my 500mm lens. I had to stitch that one together in pieces, doing four separate panels of seven, then stitching together the four larger panels. My duo core processor and 4G RAM simply couldn’t handle that much data at once. Tomorrow morning, I will be heading to Point Woronzof to photo the moon as it sets, just right around sunrise.

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