April 8, 2014 Moon and Tree


While outside I saw the moon in the branches of my monster cottonwood.  I thought it was worthy of a shot, but I had to wait for warmer light.

So a little later the better light arrived, and I went to work.

The music for this page is “Eyes Open” by Snow Patrol.  I first got into them in 2004 (“Final Straw”) and went right out and got their 2006 effort.  A lot of you remember “Chasing Cars” as their big hit off this CD, but there are many others worth a listen.  “Hands Open” asks your attention and “Make This Go On Forever” is an absolute must.


APR_8_2014__001ANikon D7100 with a Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD lens shot at f/40 and a 1 second shutter speed.  ISO 100.  Focal length: 175mm (APS-C).

This was a difficult image to get.  First off, the moon isn’t a stationary object.  It was a real chore to keep my tripod-mounted D7100 framed correctly (especially at the goofy angle it was at).  Next, there was a breeze that caused the branches to shake.  A large handful of my attempts were soft because of that.  Finally, getting both the branches and the moon in focus was very tricky.  I used the largest aperture value I had and went for some hyper-focal stuff, by picking a focus point in between the distant moon, and the closer branches.  It still left the moon somewhat soft, but not horrible (otherwise you wouldn’t be seeing it here).

I also had to do some post-processing work to get the colors where I wanted them; most specifically, adjusting the white balance.  I was able to get the color and contrast I wanted and was still able to maintain the traces of the sun’s fading warmth on the branches.  Yet another reason I am glad I shoot RAW.

Thanks to Nikon’s crappy shutter design, I had to take out several dust spots, because of my f/40 aperture choice.  I knew they would be there the moment I picked f/40, and thankfully Photoshop’s Healing Brush cleared them.  


image © Scott Woelm – April 2014