April 01, 2012
Shot of the Night!
Spent my day relaxing on the veranda here at Casa de Carmichael… It was a balmy 80+ degrees here in the Denver area, and I didn’t have a tee time. So I resigned myself to being a lazy bum under the blue skies.
I did, as I often do, have my Nikon sitting next to me incase the world passing by presented opportunity. Actually I was presented with a few this afternoon, mostly shots of the cats, an occasional bird or two and one pissed off squirrel that Scrunch (my cat) had tree’d.
But much of my attention was drawn to the blisteringly clear blue today, I watched as countless airliners flew over on their approach to Denver International Airport (KDEN… or DIA to the locals). As the half moon climbed overhead I noticed once again that the approach path followed by the aircraft was nearing an intercept course with the moon, which would present another opportunity for one of my usual moon crossing images. I’ve taken a few of these in my history as a photographer, but they are always a fun challenge.
I must have waited and shot dozens of planes as they came close but never quite crossed the moon. Day moved into dusk and I was hoping to get a good image of a plane, highlighted by the sun crossing the moon’s path, but alas it was not to be… (A number came close… but just not there).
It was getting dark now, and my chances for my desired shot were rapidly decreasing with each minute after the sun had bid its farewell. I was about to pack it in for the evening when I saw a behemoth of a bird (a Boeing 767) approaching from the southwest. I thought, well I’ll give one more try.
I altered my settings on my camera to be able to take the shot handheld, and expose properly for the moon’s brightness against a darkening sky. I advanced the ISO to 1600 to allow for a 1/200 second of a shot to reduce as much motion (my motion that is) blur in the resulting shot. I focused on the approaching plane noticing that indeed it was looking promising for passing across the moon’s face. But damn that plane was dark… I heard the voice of the wingman in Star Wars ringing in my ears… “Stay on target…” I continued to pan with the plane… and as I saw the glow of the moon enter my view I squeezed the shutter in multi-shot high frame rate mode… all 6 shots per second of it!
And sho-nuff! Bagged me the image I was seeking! Here it is for your viewing pleasure.
I know it’s a little dark, but again I was exposing for the moon, not the plane so the details of the 1/2 moon are prevalent. Besides, it was more night than dusk by this time! Below are the sequenced shots leading up to and following this one… (each has been lightened a bit so you can more clearly see the plane as it approached). I really liked shots 5, 6 and 7.
And there you have it. Love that Nikon by the way! 9 shots in rapid succession, low light an all!
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