Posts Tagged ‘settings


chasing the moon…

the Super Moon…the moon, that had not been so super since the year I was born…1948. Portland was socked in with rain coming. Weather forecasts in all directions showed clouds and rain coming by early evening. There was potentially a ‘sliver’ of hope to the East…about a 100 miles East. I took off East and bypassed hopeful vantage points (Crown Point, Cascade Locks, Hood River, The Dalles, Celilo Falls) that were socked in with spatters of rain. I pretty much lost hope as it looked cloudy as far as I could see. Coming upon Rufus, Oregon I saw a road that seemed to wind up above the Gorge (Columbia River Gorge) so I took the road and ended up high above amongst wind turbines and not another person in view. I drove around the area, snapped some shots of the turbines and prepared to leave when I saw a bright, wide ‘sliver’ of light penetrating the dark clouds and darkness. I turned around and headed toward the NE, where the light showed. I bailed out, set the camera atop the tripod and prepared to shoot. I neglected to adjust my ISO after having shot the wind turbines in the emerging darkness. As the Super Moon barely emerged amongst the clouds, it shined very bright. It was indeed huge…’super’. I had about 60 seconds as it emerged upward through the strata of rain clouds. I snapped away but, I had been in too much of a hurry and had not been prepared to adjust the settings as the arrival took me by surprise. It was a fun, private event atop the Gorge.









Blood Moon Blunder

Browsing the net last night, I noticed a piece about the Blood Moon, which was to occur in the wee hours of the next morning. Hmmm? Was I prepared to get up at 2:00 am for this two hour event? But the moon would turn red! An eclipse. A rare event. So, I did some prep, in advance: tripod, lens, settings (for normal lunar shots), set my alarm for 0145 hrs. and dozed off. 

It came quickly, the alarm, and the anticipation. I got up. I even got my wife to join me, bundled up on a lawn chair to take in the view. 

Blood Moon C1 10-8-14 SwittersB

It started off well enough. Normal moon shots. I was using my 75-300 lens. Just adequate, but does alright. I snapped away and then something happened with the lens. Not sure what yet, but a malfunction in the midst of a holy Blood Moon for crying out loud! I swapped lens to an 18-200 lens. Less adequate, but my tried and true lens I use most often.

Blood Moon C2 10-8-14 SwittersB

The moon was changing and there was, indeed, a subtle red-pinkish glow to the moon. I continued to shoot. BUT as the moon grew darker…I never changed my settings to allow for the drastic decrease in light. I started with ISO 100, f 11, 1/200 settings.

Blood Moon C3 10-8-14 SwittersB

To my eye, I thought the camera was displaying what I was seeing. But, eventually, I realized I was losing the most important part of the whole show: the blood red tone to the eclipsed moon! Live and learn. There will be two more chances (next April and again in September) to get it right. Then not for 20 more years.


Waterfall: Pieces missing…..



Moonlit Gates

Photography is gratifying in the anticipation, the preparation and developing an eye for what satisfies. I am a total novice in knowing my camera’s settings, understanding how to capture certain shots in their entirety (depth of field) or stopping to take certain shots rather than driving on by….too much of a hurry.

It is a lot like the planning, preparation, presentation of fly fishing. When it all comes together you know it. I hope to get to that point with a camera. I see shots but the other pieces of the equation are not there, so the shot does not come to life.

This shot is satisfying to me. Taken along a back road as it grew dark. My wife and I had just stopped fishing. Gear was loaded in the dark. It was chilly and the day had been so so fishing wise. It was a satisfying day, but not quite. Then I came around a corner and there was this setting. It resonated with me and I hopped out camera in hand. I had enough presence to adjust the ISO, to hold steady without a tripod, and to take it…headlights and all. Simple,  rustic, quiet. Skyfall Video

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August 2020

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