The very thin crescent waxing moon sets just after sunset, but the thin waning moon rises before dawn. I don’t have as many shots, since I have to drive for a while before I have a view. On February 21st, I drove to where I had a view … but a thin cloud layer made the moon hard to focus on … and hard to pick out of the haze. (It’s at the top in the middle) I used binoculars to spot the moon as it rose above the Cascades and Puget Sound. Just lucky with the shipping traffic.
The John Day area of Eastern Oregon has very dark skies with minimal light pollution. The star gazing is spectacular. I was down camping out a year or two back and took some time exposure shots with a Zeiss 21mm lens. I really liked the images at the time, but I recently revisited them and realized that I had not developed their full potential in Lightroom by removing as much noise as possible. I really liked the improvement, so here’s the resulting image.
This was October 29th, the moon at about 13.3%. I went out to the county airport to get a clear view to the SW and lucked out with the moon setting over the small patch of the Olympic Mountains visible from that location.
Camera: Nikon D-850 with 80-400mm lens set at 400mm.
This is the ferry Kennewick leaving Port Townsend on its last trip of the day to Coupeville on Sunday May 5th. I was across the bay at Fort Flagler State Park, to try and get a photo of the very new moon. (see below) There is a tiny bit of jet contrail above the hill. Just after this, I spotted (with my binoculars) a much higher contrail that was glowing red in the sunset. I couldn’t find it with the camera, though. And it would have just been a red smudge. But it was very cool looking.
I couldn’t see the moon without using the binoculars, either. This image was right after I first spotted it … about 9 PM (it set at behind the trees at 9:25 or so). It was 8.6% waxing at this point. It needs to get to be 11% or so before you have much chance to spot it with your naked eyes.
Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my cable release – remote. So I used the timer … but that still left me with mirror bounce. With the cable release, I can use the mirror up mode and eliminate the bounce. There were some high clouds … that’s the few horizontal streaks you can see.
Both images are with my Nikon D850 and 80-400mm with the zoom set at 400mm. With the moon shot, I added a Nikon 2x teleconverter… and still cropped a bunch to eliminate all the extraneous sky.
This shot was March 20th at 7:18 PM from Fort Worden in Port Townsend, WA. I used a 300mm lens with a 2x teleconverter on a tripod with a shutter release.
I can’t decide if I like the B&W or the color better. The reflection of the sunset in the windows on the houses on Whidbey Island is nice and shows up a little better in the color. But the B&W seems sharper and less hazy. The adjustments were made in Lightroom and the B&W conversion was made of the final color image in Silver Effects Pro 2.
Camera: Nikon D850
Lens: Nikkor 300mm PF with 2x teleconverter
ISO: 100 1/25sec f/8 (wide open with the 2x doubling the effective aperture)
This is a new moon at 7.3% (a full moon being 100%). I was standing out in the snow trying to catch this image for almost an hour. I couldn’t see the moon with my naked eye. I used binoculars and searched (and searched). It was also too faint to focus on through the viewfinder. (This image is cropped pretty heavily.) I was just giving up when I finally spotted the thin sliver.
I have tried whenever I could to get photos of the new moon setting. This is the newest I have been able to get (so far). I encourage you photographers out there to try to capture the new moon. It’s a fun challenge. There are several good astronomy apps out there (I use Moon Seeker) … they can really help you locate where the moon is … or plan where it’s going to be. Of course, you also need clear skies.
I was using a tripod and cable release … and used mirror lock up mode to minimize camera shake. That helps get you detail on the moon’s face … (not that there is any to see here).
This was the moonset on October 10, 2018 at 7:26PM … 12.8% waxing. I’m really glad that there wasn’t a baseball playoff game on or I might not have noticed the moon out my window. As it was, I had to hurry and get my tripod set up and the right lens on the camera. I was hurrying to get the focus set (and I had some issues with camera bounce)… so didn’t even notice the luminescent clouds above the moon. They were only there for a a couple minutes. The first such photo I have been able to take. I’m happy.