Just One Photo: Day 7
Summer Solstice June 21, 2015
Day 7 of taking only one photo per day and the final day of my short project. Skies have been clear with no clouds and I went out to capture the moonset for my final image this week. Shortly before the moon dipped behind the Wasatch Mountains, the one and only cloud in the sky obscured the moon. The cloud shifted for a few minutes before dissipating and I honestly could have taken quite a few more photos. This is the challenge though! Identify a moment, a scene, something to make you click the shutter, not just press the shutter over and over.
You’ll notice a few things in this image. First and most obvious, why the 2 moons? When shooting at night, the moon is extremely bright compared to the sky. You can only expose for the sky (moon blown out) or the moon (sky black). If you want images with the moon and landscape, you have to catch it earlier in the day, evening works nice for this. So I took one picture of the moon behind the clouds at a 15 second exposure on a long lens. My tripod was on pavement and there was a slight breeze. I didn’t use a remote or mirror lock-up, just a 10 sec timer and the image stabilization turned on. There was a slight breeze too. I say all this because shooting at long focal lengths is tricky. You have to use a very careful shooting technique to ensure sharp images, especially at night. That’s a different blog post though.
I took the picture and of course the moon is blown out. 15 seconds of moving and diffused light gave the moon an odd shape and extreme brightness. I wanted to show more detail in the moon so I chose to do a multiple exposure, taking one more photo to merge into the previous picture. I’ve experimented with this in-camera feature before and I enjoy the creativity in this process. The result is a single RAW file, one image. The 2nd image (below) was the first exposure so you can see how it looked before the added exposure. The shot of the moon by itself is merged into the RAW image so there is no actual file for that one. For those interested, you can change this setting to save all images. I like the resulting image much better than the first exposure because it gives your eyes a few clues to the image, then plenty of space to put the pieces together.
I’ll write one more blog post soon about the entire 7 day process to highlight a few things I’ve learned. This project was not about making images as much as it was about learning. It was definitely a challenge although it wasn’t as tough as I anticipated only taking one photo. Doing so didn’t detract from the experience of taking photos and exploring in one bit. I found I wanted to shoot many, many more photos but I think I improved my observing skills as much as any photography skill, which is more important anyway. At the end, I came away with a few images I really like as a bonus. It was a fun week and I’m looking forward to more photography this week:)
Thanks for reading,