Midnattsol Photography: Blog http://midnattsol.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) Midnattsol Photography midnattsol@outlook.com (Midnattsol Photography) Thu, 17 Nov 2016 02:55:00 GMT Thu, 17 Nov 2016 02:55:00 GMT http://midnattsol.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-5/u506911929-o60289075-50.jpg Midnattsol Photography: Blog http://midnattsol.zenfolio.com/blog 120 96 Super Moon - Take Two http://midnattsol.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/super-moon---take-two On November 14th, the moon was the closest and brightest supermoon of 2016, but also the largest since 1948. What's more, the full moon won't come this close to Earth again until Nov. 25, 2034. So, I decided to see if I could photograph it, but more importantly, photograph it well.  I heard about a photography meetup group that was meeting at Lake Pflugerville, which sounded like a good foreground.  With moon or star photography, the foreground is the most important element. It gives the sky a sense of scale and magnifies the size of the moon. I read up on how to photograph the moon and found out that “loonie F11” was the secret…so they say. The experts recommended F11, 125th of a sec and ISO 100 as a starting point. I had good success shooting the Milky Way so I was excited and optimistic.

Milky WayGood success with this shoot so I was hopeful

I quickly found out that photographing the moon is not easy, not easy at all. First of all, “loonie F11” did not work for me. I found it way to dark and went into full panic mode, trying to find the right settings.  The moon is much brighter than most people realize, so to make it have detail and not look like a white ball you have to do a balancing act of shutter speed and aperture opening. I clearly went the wrong way. I kept closing the aperture to get detail in the moon but that required slower and slower shutter speed.  The other thing most people don’t realize is the moon moves quickly, so the slow shutter speeds result in very blurry pictures.  The speed also made it move off the horizon losing my “foreground” so the shooting window is very short. I came home and knew I would be disappointed with the results and I was right…lots of blurry shots of the moon.

So, I spent the rest of the night trying to figure out what I did wrong. I think I even thought about it in my dreams because I woke up with the answer. The trick would be open the aperture wide open and only adjust the shutter speed to get the clarity -- being careful not to go too slow. I decided to try again. It would not be a “Supermoon”, but it would still be 97% of the size and a chance to see if I was correct in my adjustments.  I went out and endured an hour of mosquito bites waiting for the moon to arrive. It came up slightly left than the night before, but I was ready. I tried my new technique and it seems to have worked. I shot with my 300mm the first night but moved to my 70-200 on the second try which gave me a little bit more room for composition. In hindsight, I think the 300mm was the better choice.  I am happy with the results but not thrilled with the foreground. There will be another “Supermoon” in December, so I will be looking for a new location. I would love to hear any suggestions!




Super MoonA little higher in the sky

Super MoonI liked the foreground on this one a bit better.


midnattsol@outlook.com (Midnattsol Photography) super moon http://midnattsol.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/super-moon---take-two Thu, 17 Nov 2016 02:54:45 GMT
Formula One comes to America http://midnattsol.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/10/formula-one-comes-to-america In a land more known for NASCAR and the Indy 500, Formula One made its one annual appearance in America this past weekend. I had the opportunity to shoot the race at the Circuit of the Americas. If you’ve never been, you should definitely check it out!  Even if you aren’t a race fan, Formula 1 is great for people watching and celebrity spotting. If you’re a music fan you can catch a couple of great concerts. It also garners an international audience right here in Austin, TX.

Daniel Ricciardo wearing his special "Elvis Tribute" helmet for the US race only

Personally, I am a race fan and love seeing my favorite drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, in action. This year was also the debut of the new American team HaasF1. They have been one of the most successful first year teams in years. They have 29 points as a team--unheard of for a first-year team.

Haas Racing's Esteban Gutierrez shoots sparks as the car bottoms out under load. This is normal and can be exciting

The weekend also featured a vintage F1 race car series known as Masters Historic Racing. This series is comprised of some of the most amazing F1 cars of the past and many have values in the millions. The owners have taken great care to race them as they were in their day.  The drivers take this event very seriously and race hard, which is interesting due to the historic value of the cars.

Jean Denis Deletraz driving the Alan Jones Surtees TS19 raced in 1976. He raced to a 7th place finish

The magic of shooting a race involves a technique called “panning”. This is where you use a slow shutter speed and pan with the car as it goes by.  It yields a result where the car is sharp and in focus while the background and tires are blurred, eliciting the feeling of movement.

Sebastian Vettel sets a fast lap on his way to a 4th place finish


Lewis Hamilton turning a quick lap on his way to a back to back win at COTA








Check out my facebook for all F1 pictures (coming soon)

midnattsol@outlook.com (Midnattsol Photography) Austin COTA F1 Ferrari Mercedes Sebastian Vettel lewis Hamilton masters historic racing http://midnattsol.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/10/formula-one-comes-to-america Mon, 31 Oct 2016 01:40:33 GMT