Sunday, January 31, 2010

Moon Rise Blues

On Friday evening I was in the car with my cousin. We were driving southbound to her place, when I glanced out to my left and saw the most glorious moon suspended in the eastern sky. Within one breath, I gasped at the wonder of its glowing, yellow form and then exhaled with a curse for making the decision to leave my DSLR zoom lens at home.

I did have two cameras with me - my Canon digital with a 12X zoom and my Canon DSLR with its regular lens. I made a point of using both each time we stopped at a red light as long as nothing was obstructing the view. Here's what I got.

At our first traffic light, the moon was partially hidden by a fast food restaurant. Let's call this shot "McMoonalds." (please click to enlarge)

We had a very brief stop at this traffic light and the car accelerated just as I was snapping this photo. That shaky hand seemed to be mocking my own. We can call this one "Don't Moonwalk." (please click to enlarge)

When I switched away from the DSLR to my older camera, I was able to get a little closer to the lovely orb in the darkening sky. The surrounding building, pole and wires were nothing wonderful but the perspective gives you an idea of how large and luminous this gorgeous celestial body was that night. (please click to enlarge)

The next day, I learned that this Wolf Moon seemed bigger than usual for a reason. It appeared 18 percent larger and 30 percent brighter because it was also a perigee moon. Had I known this, I would never have left my DSLR zoom lens at home. Clowncar, how could you not tell me about this? Sigh!

I figured this lovely moon would still look pretty good the following night when it was only 99 percent full, so on Saturday, I grabbed my zoom and walked through the park after nightfall.

The park has a lot of trees. (please click to enlarge)

And it's easier to focus on trees than it is to focus on the moon. (please click to enlarge)

Unless you climb a hill, twist to the side, bend slightly to avoid the distant electrical wires which obstruct the view and stop shivering long enough to get just one shot of the slightly less-than-full moon.

Good enough. (please click to enlarge)

More shots of Mother Nature's handiwork coming up soonish.


Unspoken said...

You got some great shots. I like the moon in the last photo

Amy said...

Hilary, Those are incredible shots! It's almost 11:00 p.m. but I'm taking my humble Canon outside right now and hunt me a moon!

LadyFi said...

Wow - such luscious photos! The mooon hung huge and heavy and golden like syrup here too, but I didn't take any photos.

Linda Pendleton said...

Great photos....

Maggie May said...

Just love those blue ones but the last one is marvellous. Heck they are ALL marvellous!

Nuts in May

Saz said...

OH!! it must be the camera and your eye...I can only aspire!!!

wonderful series of images...
saz xx

ethelmaepotter! said...

I can't get over the detail you captured! Did you use a tripod at all? I tried to get pictures of that same moon, but my hand isn't nearly as steady as it used to be, so my moon looks as though it's trapped in a heavy haze.

Sueann said...

I too saw this fabulous site and alas, my camera was nowhere near me. I had to rush home and got some shots in then. But it wasn't as large! Sigh!!! Beautiful shots by the way!

Shrinky said...

I was also out driving on Friday evening, and the moon simply took my breath away, such a cloudless night, and there I was without a camera!

You've captured it's essence beautifully - but Hilary - you went out walking in the park, after dark?? Shessh, I do hope you took some company along?

Zuzana said...

Now, this are beautiful photographs of the moon! This is what I mean when I post my mediocre shots and am wishing for much better.;)
As you know I love the moon and yes indeed I saw it too. It is about 50.000km closer now then it will ever be during the rest of the year and in fact the disc will appear larger in the sky than the sun. I believe this is also called a *Lunar Perigee*, but I am no expert.;)
Love all the shots and will look at them often when visiting you.;)

Gary's third pottery blog said...

kinda makes you want to HOWL doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

I loved the first one, shame about the golden arches! The last one is stunning. Nice shots.

Unknown said...

A breathtaking view to be sure; I especially love the moon as seen through the tree branches, very artistic Hilary.

Michael said...

Those are awesome! Loved the fortitude to get that last shot. ha!

Pauline said...

Astonishing! Thanks for sharing!

Woman in a Window said...

OK, those shots through the trees are stunning. YOu know, it rested directly down the narrow corridor of what we call highway. If I would have set out out of town Friday night you'd have seen me there right on the moon. I'd have driven directly into it. Gorgeous it was. I found it hiding around the corner of my house just an hour later. Tricky moon.

Dianne said...

so let me get this right
you grab your not the best camera and at stop lights you shoot the best you can

and you come up with art!!

you're starting to bug me a little ;)

I love the moon next to the stop signal - that's just wonderful

and all the thru the tree shots! wow!!

Teri said...

Very clever! Thanks for the morning smiles!!

Country Girl said...

Yum yum yum yum yum. I love this!!

Unknown said...

Truly magnificent Hilary! Kaishon and I were following the moon for a while on Friday night as it was SO stunning and perfect! I love your series! Perfection!

ellen abbott said...

No wonder it seemed like day in the middle of the night (in the city with the help of all the usual lights).

These are wonderful. If I ever get a 'real' camera with a good zoom, it will be to be able to photograph the moon.

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

Stunning shots of this exquisite orb. And if I remember correctly where you live, you did got all these shots in some incredibly cold weather! Thanks for sharing.

blunoz said...

I really like the moon with the don't walk sign, and I like the third from the last picture with the branches across the moon.

Land of shimp said...

And Hilary does what George Bailey did not: Lassos the Moon for us all.

Truly wonderful, Hilary. The shot of the moon through the tree branches really caught me. It actually made me think of an eye examine I had recently that took pictures of the interior of my eye.

I also thought of the movie Apollo 13, where Hanks-as-Lovell blocks out the view of the moon with his thumb. That something that huge, and really rather awesome could seemingly be blotted out with something so relatively tiny.

The moon is one of those things that the scope of it is hard to contemplate.

Anonymous said...

Amazing shots Hilary! I just love the photo of the moon through the branches! McMoonalds, lol...hahaha! :)

Midlife Roadtripper said...

I so want a better camera. Perhaps someday, when my kids are all through college and I can take a class as well.

Lori said...

These are great Hilary! I will have to show these to my little ones as they love the moon. XX Lori

Brian Miller said...

great shots! i love the moon....

gh said...

Hilary, you really did well there. I too always seem to gasp when i see a full moon or crescent moon hanging over the sky making an incredible sight against the city scenery.
Love the McMoonalds and the Don't moonwalk. Great focus and exposure.
Its not as easy as it might seem to get a good shot of the moon as you have in these images. really well done

Lorna said...

Beautiful shots Hilary! The moon always take my breath away, and today your photos did it in the daytime. Thank you :)

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Amy #1. :)

• Amy #2, thank you. I hope you got some good shots. :)

• LadyFi, thanks kindly. Lovely description. :)

• Linda, thank you. :)

• Maggie May, thanks so much. :)

• Saz, thanks so much. Your kind words mean a lot to me. :)

• EthelMae, though I do have a tripod now, I didn't use it. I was in the car for the first few photos, and in the park alone for the last few and didn't want to spend more time than necessary. Your hand steadiness has less to do with a good shot than you might think. You need to shoot at a fast (not the usual night time slow) shutter speed when photographing the moon. Thanks for your kind words. :)

• Thank you, SueAnn. The shots you got were wonderful too. Misty and moody. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Shrinky, I would have been SO annoyed at myself if I didn't have my camera that night. Not having the zoom lens was annoying enough. I walked alone but keep in mind that "after dark" does not equate to late at night in the winter. It was only after 6 pm. It was fine. Thanks though for the concern and for your always-kind words. :)

• Protege, thank you, thank you, thank you! But I to disagree with you about your photos - they are anything but mediocre. They're lovely and inspiring. And you invented "progressive photography!" ;) Yup, right you are about the lunar perigee. I had linked to that information in my post. Thanks so much for your warm and encouraging words, my friend. :)

• Gary - go right ahead, Wolfman. :)

• ED, thanks so much for the kind words. :)

• Jane, thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed them. :)

• Cabo, thanks. And did I mention that it was COLD out there too? ;)

• Pauline, thanks kindly. Much appreciated. :)

• Erin, thank you. Aww you should have ventured out that night - kidlets and camera in tow. Maybe next time? And yes, that moon is indeed a trickster. Thanks for venturing out this way. :)

• Dianne, thanks so much. I'm sorry that I'm getting on your nerves and hope I can get back into your good graces before tooo long. ;) I'm glad you like that stop signal shot. I almost didn't use it because of the blurry red light but I suspected that somebody, somewhere would like it. I'm glad that someone was you. Thanks always for your kind words. :)

Hilary said...

• Teri, thanks kindly. Much appreciated. :)

• Kate, I'm glad you indulged and enjoyed. :)

• LWK, thank you so much. I'm so pleased that you enjoyed the post. It was an amazing night, wasn't it?

• Ellen, thank you. I hope you do get a camera which makes you happy soon. There's great fun in photographing such events. And with your artist's eye, no doubt you'd.. umm.. aim for the moon! ;)

• Bonnie, thanks very kindly. Yes, it was pretty cold here last night. Though truthfully, I think it began to warm up slightly by the time I was snapping the shots in the park. I was very cold on an earlier walk at sunset but much more comfy just a couple of hours later. Or maybe I was preoccupied. In any event, the temperature was around -17C or 2F. Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

• Kevin, thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed them. :)

• Shimp, my vonderfully, verbose vriend - thank you so much for such kind words. I know exactly what you mean about the eye exam. I actually thought of that too - when you can see all of the blood vessels lit up and reflected on the back of your eye. Too funny. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Rain. I kind of suspected you'd like the tree shots. ;)

• MJ, I hope you get one soon. You should indulge if you can. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Lori, good to see you. :) Thanks for the kind words. I hope your Littles enjoy them. :)

• Brian, thanks kindly. Much appreciated.

• Gary, thank you so kindly. It means a lot to me to hear such encouraging words from a gifted photographer such as yourself. That moon was irresistible, wasn't it? Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very much, Lorna. I'm so glad you enjoyed them. :)

Mental P Mama said...

So beautiful....

Joanna Jenkins said...

WOW! These moon shots blew me away Hilary. They are gorgeous. Which just goes to show, even without your "good" camera you still have an awesome eye.

Hope your having a good weekend.

imbeingheldhostage said...

WOW. Stunning. You mooned us!

I love the "don't moonwalk" comment-- very funny. I choose you for Post of the Week (I know, not allowed, but seriously awesome moon you have):-)

Dawning Inspiration said...

Thanks for the shots of the moon! Beautiful! I didn't get a chance to see it here... next time!

Kappa no He said...

I love, love, love the moon and stars and the night sky. And I didn't know anything about a Wolf Moon. Those shots were stunning, Hilary!

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Hilary: Beautiful captures of the Wolf Moon, it was a sight to behold. Did you notice the red planet Mars that was close to it as it rose? Mars is as close to the Earth as it will be for a time.

Daryl said...


Next time I am taking BOTH cameras .. and a flashlight AND the camera manual....

The last one .. spectacular

Steve Gravano said...

Incredible series. I love the McMoonald's.

Kerri Farley said...

Oh Hilary, I LOVED each and every one of your moon shots!! Fabulous!!!

Fragrant Liar said...

All good shots, but that last one is really striking.

I could turn wolf under a moon like that, given the right circumstances, I mean. Like summer.

Karen said...

The ones through the tress are amazing. The moon was beautiful here too, but my regular camera didn't take good pics. I loved'em.

Frank Baron said...

I like the first and last shots best. The first puts me in mind of a jigsaw puzzle picture - perhaps of one I worked on at one time. Or maybe one I'd like to.

The last has enough detail to prompt remembering Neil Armstrong et al. I've thought about it a zillion times since 1969 but it still amazes me that folks have walked up there and looked at us looking at them.

Hilary said...

Just beautiful. Really.

~JarieLyn~ said...

Your moon shots turned out wonderful. I also took shots of the moon and they turned out okay, but it was mostly just a large glow. I didn't get any real detail in the moon. Love your shots.

SandyCarlson said...

I love the way that big ol' light-reflecting rock puts our world in perspective.

Tammie Lee said...

Oh how wonderful. I love each photo. Amazing what point and shoots will do these days! Such a big fat moon.

Nancy said...

These picture are absolutely fabulous! I really liked the moon through the trees. Lots of texture and bright light. You really couldn't tell it was only 99% full.

järnebrand said...

Mc Moonalds... You are funny and talented. Great shots. I agree, It is always a lot easier to focus on things that are near than focusing on things that are far away. Very true. Thank you for the inspiration. :)

Anonymous said...

I am in awe. And all with you second best camera. You are amazing.

abb said...

Just gorgeous! You captured the moon my eyes saw that didn't translate to my camera. So very glad you've shared these. And that last shot! WOW!

Carol Murdock said...

Stunning shots Hilary!

Cricket said...

Love the huge moons, though a photo never really captures it. Not that they aren't great shots. The final is certainly good enough. I don't think I ever see the moon that clearly unaided.

(My wife wants an HDTV. I always answer that I don't have HD eyes.)

I wasn't necessarily thinking soundtracks, yet the shot of the moon/wires does bring to mind Moon Over Bourbon Street by Sting. Actually, I can hear it now. There's a moon over bourbon Street tonight... . Hey, you can't feel the Canadian cold in the photo, right?

Cedar said...

Wow in that last picture if you enlarge it and look really close you can see an American Flag sticking....nah you can't...first that would be impossible even if it was there...second, everyone knows we faked that whole moon landing thing...

Reb said...

Stunning! All of them. It was cloudy here sadly.

Unknown said...

I haven't read the comments, but I was so hoping you'd post pictures. I stood outside both nights, mesmerized and moved to the core.
But I don't know enough about my camera to get shots that weren't just balls of bright light.
But I knew where to come ... thank you, Hilary.

i still posted though. It was incredible.

Nessa said...

Rabbit, Rabbit

Oh, you got great shots. I didn't have my camera with me but the moon was HUGE and very yellow, like wolves eyes.

Louise said...

I think the smaller cameras/lenses did and amazing job. The moon is not my forte, and these are excellent captures!

Hilary said...

• Thanks, MPM. :)

• Joanna, thanks very much for the kind words. :)

• IBHH, thanks so much. I'm glad you got a kick out of the post as I did from your sweet comments. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• SD thank you. I'm glad you were able to at least see it here. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Terrie, thanks, I hadn't heard about the Wolf Moon or all of the other moon names until that day either. Now we both know. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Fishing Guy, thank you. I didn't notice Mars that first night - the night of the full Wolf moon, but I did learn of it since and saw it the following night. It was such a lovely night sky. Thanks for dropping by. :)

• Daryl, thanks. Next time you WILL be ready. ;)

• Steve, thanks very much. :)

• Kerri, thank you so kindly. Much appreciated. :)

• FL, yeah summer would have to factor into that scenario. ;) Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Thank you, Karen. I'm glad you enjoyed the pics. :)

• Frank, you once did or would like to do a McJigsaw? Yup the moon landing was mind-boggling. Thanks for the comments. :)

• Thanks very much, Hilary. :)

• JarieLyn, thank you. I'm pleased that you enjoyed my moon shots. It's a tricky orb to capture. But keep trying.. and set your shutter speed pretty fast. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Sandy, it does have a way of doing that, doesn't it? Thanks for the visit. :)

• Tammie Lee, thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed them. :)

• Nancy, thanks. I'm pleased that you think so. :)

• Joanna, thanks so much for the kind words. I'm glad you got a kick out of my photo titles. ;) That focus thing works like that outside of photography too. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Moannie. Just the first few were with the second best one but I appreciate the kind words. :)

• TSannie, thanks very much. I do love the shot that you got with yours. Thanks for your kind words. :)

• Carol, thank you kindly. :)

• Cricket, thanks. And you're right, it's never quite the same as when we see it directly. But it's fun trying to capture it anyway. You might be surprised how HD your eyes are - and her eyes would probably enjoy it just fine. ;) That's a good soundtrack, thank you. And luckily the Canadian cold will not seep out of that photo. :)

• Cedar, would they write anagrams about a fake event? ...
"That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."
~ Neil Armstrong
"A thin man ran; makes a large stride, left a planet, pins flag on moon! O! On to Mars!"
;) Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks, Reb. Sorry you missed it in your neck of the woods. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Deb, thank you so much. I'm so touched that you thought to come here to see my moon shots. You make me smile. I'll be by to see your blogs soonish. Looking forward to your own captures of that wonder.

• Nessa, thank you. Yes, it was so yellow and luminous. Wolf eyes for a Wolf moon. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Louise, thanks very much. I'm glad you think so. :)

Lisa (Mountain Photog) said...

Those are amazing shots, Hilary! Especially that last one. You can almost reach out and touch the moon. I like the photos through the trees, too.

Merisi said...

I actually love the McMoon image,
it is original and full of atmosphere!

Redbush said...

Absolutely fantastic shots! Whenever I see the moon through the trees, they don't seem as spectacular. Who knew they would produce pics like these!

Laura said...

the shots with the tree branches just blew me away! Wow! Gorgeous!

Wendy said...

Fantastic moon shots! I like your McMoonalds one. LOL! Your tree branches on the moon pics looks like what I would take at my place. Too many trees in the way, but still, makes for an interesting photo.
Weren't you cold??? Thanks for the info on why the moon was so bright - I thought it looked brighter, but figured it was just my imagination.

G said...

I saw this moon too! I tried to get a shot, but it was awful. Yours are splendid. What a gorgeous sight it was.

Jo said...

Those pictures are extraordinary. The one with the branches of the trees across it, like veins, is amazing.

Cheryl Kohan said...

They're all great but I especially love the pictures with the moon showing through the branches! Good work!

colbymarshall said...

Beautiful! And the McDonald's shot makes me crave a cheeseburger ;-)

the Bag Lady said...

Awesome! I saw that moon, but very briefly, because it's been cloudy here.

coolboy said...

thanks Hilary

this post is too good
wat a beautiful images i like image of moon

Dave said...

Great moon shot's Hilary. You must have a powerful telescopic lens. - Dave

Thumbelina said...

Just - awesome.

I saw this moon so big too but alas, my camera simply isn't able to get shots like these. I remember staring at the moon though, remembering she is a quarter a size of the earth and thinking.... how big would the earth look in the sky if I was stood on the moon...?

Fascinating shots, beautifully taken.

SandyCarlson said...

Thanks for stopping by, friend.

Russell said...

I saw an incredible the other night -- perhaps the same one? As it rose in the eastern sky over the flat prairie, it literally looked like a sunrise.

It was a brilliant red orange and filled the dusk sky.

I join in with the 296 other people (heh!) who have posted comments and echo their responses! Most enjoyable images and I liked your descriptions -- especially the McMoonalds!

Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

I just have to say, "Wow..." These are just incredible photos.

Thanks for sharing them with us!

Nishant said...

I'm taking my humble Canon outside right now and hunt me a moon!

Work from home India

Unseen India Tours said...

Beautiful and simply amazing shots !! Great photos !!

Cloudia said...

Excellent amazing wonderful post!!!!!!!!

Aloha, Friend

Comfort Spiral

Mage said...

Oh, look, seventy nine comments. I bet they love these just as I do.

lime said...

it was a glorious wolf moon indeed and you aptured it well!

cheshire wife said...

Absolutely brilliant!

Daniel said...

wow, although we have that very smae moooon quiutie often here in utar

Hilary said...

• MP, thank you. I'm pleased that you enjoyed my pics. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Merisi, thanks kindly. Im glad you do. :)

• Redbush, thanks. It was a particularly lovely moon that night. I'm glad you dropped by. :)

• Laura, thank you. Much appreciated. :)

• Wendy, thanks very much. Yes, I was cold but I was more intent upon getting a few shots. Of course I wasn't cold the first night.. I was in the car. ;) Thanks for the visit. :)

• BPG, thank you. I'm sorry you weren't able to get a good shot of the moon though. Maybe this month.. on the 28th. :)

• Jo, thanks very much. I'm glad you like them :)

• Cheryl, thanks kindly. I'm glad you stopped by to visit. :)

• Colby, thanks. That made me laugh. :)

• Thanks, Baggie. Too bad for the cloud cover. I'm glad you at least got a glimpse of it. :)

• Naveen, thank you kindly. Very much appreciated. :)

• Dave, it wasn't a powerful zoom but it was a really large moon that night. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thumbelina, thank you. Very interesting thought. Wouldn't it be cool to be able to look back at Earth that way? Only a very few have been that lucky (despite what Cedar said). ;) Thanks for stopping by, my friend. :)

• Sandy. :)

• Russell, I'm pretty sure it would have been the same one. I'm amazed at how many people were lucky enough to have a clear night with which to view it. Your description is apt. It did indeed resemble a sunrise. Thanks always for your kind words. :)

• Laura, thanks kindly. Very much appreciated. :)

• Nishant, good luck! I hope you capture some great shots. :)

• Unseen, thank you very much. I'm glad you liked them. :)

• Thanks, Cloudia. :)

• Maggie, thanks kindly. :)

• Lime, thank you. :)

• Thanks, CW. Much appreciated. :)

• Daniel, it would indeed be the same one. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Clowncar said...

Just glorious. That next to last one focused on the trees is my fave.

Sorry I let you down. :)

Elizabeth Bradley said...


I love them all but the ones with the tree branches are so lovely and spooky.

steviewren said...

WOW! Thanks for the moon views Hilary. It was raining here so I completely missed it. Your photos are all good but the first one with tree limbs in front is my fave.

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Clowncar. I'm glad you liked them. And that's OK. Just don't let it happen again. ;)

• Thank you, Elizabeth. I'm happy you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very much, Steviewren. I'm glad you were able to see moon shots over here in spite of your cloud coverage at home. Thanks for the kind words. :)

Sarah Sometimes said...

Wow! These are gorgeous. Thanks for putting them up. (I wandered over here via the Oort Cloud--and I'm sure I'll be back.)

Hilary said...

Welcome, Sarah and thanks so much for the kind words. I'm glad to have you aboard. :)

Chica, Cienna, and Cali said...

lol @ McMoonalds and the moon with the silhouette of such a great photo.....dreamy!!!! I am a moon-baby!!! I really am .... :)

sanjeet said...

Just love those blue ones but the last one is marvellous

Work from home India

Hilary said...

• Aw thanks so much Moony Moi. Very much appreciated. :)

• Thanks very kindly, Sanjeet. I'm glad you think so. :)