The Half Moon on a Full Moon

So here I am at the top of a parking garage in downtown Albany on a Saturday night.

Sounds like the beginning of a pop song, doesn’t it?

No it doesn’t.  😀

I wanted to try something with my new Soviet mirror lens, the MC MTO-11, which is an 1100mm f/16 cadiatropic piece of glass.  The idea was to photograph the Half Moon weathervane atop the old D&H Building in downtown Albany, and then hopefully capture it as the full moon sailed by.  That would be a swank photo.

Let’s try it.

First, I had to see if the camera could pick up the Half Moon weathervane.

Half Moon weathervane.  Nikon Df camera, MC MTO-11 lens.  Photo by Chuck Miller.
Half Moon weathervane. Nikon Df camera, MC MTO-11 lens. Photo by Chuck Miller.

Damn.  For perspective, I’m across the street – actually, I’m across the block, photographing it on the fifth level of the Hudson and Green Parking Garage.

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And then, as night fell, I saw the full moon rising up from the horizon.

This is going to be great.  I’ll get a great shot and …

Uh-oh.  The moon is taking a path that guides it to the right side of the weathervane.  And I can’t line up the vane and the moon unless I walk further to the left … and unless I suddenly became Wile E. Coyote, I’m not going to be able to defy the laws of gravity.

Okay.  Down to ground level.

And by “ground level,” I mean the intersection of State Street and Broadway.

Test shot.  Can I get the moon with nice sharp pretty craters from here.

moon
Full moon. Nikon Df camera, MC MTO-11 lens. Photo by Chuck Miller.

Dang, I think I can see Alan Shepard’s stray golf balls over there.

Okay.  The moon is lining up with the weathervane.  And I can get a great shot of …

Uh-oh.  Something I didn’t anticipate.

Despite all my efforts, I had a choice.  If I wanted to get the moon and the vane together, I could either capture the moon in focus…

half-moon-1
Half Moon 1. Nikon Df camera, MC MTO-11 lens. Photo by Chuck Miller.

Or, I could try to get the Half Moon in focus, but then it would be silhouetting a bright white circle without any definitive “craters.”

Half Moon 2.  Nikon Df camera, MC MTO-11 lens.  Photo by Chuck Miller.
Half Moon 2. Nikon Df camera, MC MTO-11 lens. Photo by Chuck Miller.

And despite what anybody says, the Half Moon weathervane, at least from my angle, appeared larger than the Moon itself.  Which is great if you’re Captain Hook sailing in search of Peter Pan…

Well, if nothing else, this was a first try.  I’ll scout new locations as time progresses.  Maybe I need to wait until the moon arrives in twilight rather than in pitch black darkness.

This is the thing.  Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone.  It took a lot of trial and error and failures along the way, though.

First step is the hardest.

But it gives me ideas on where to go and what to do to make the next step better.

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5 thoughts on “The Half Moon on a Full Moon”

  1. OMG I love that shot of the Half Moon against the moon!!! It would make a great cover for a children’s ghost/pirate ship adventure book !!!!!

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  2. Freakin’ AWEsome, Chuck – award-winning (and yes, book cover) material!
    Your imagination and enthusiasm know no bounds.
    Beautiful.

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  3. Love it! What a great idea. I have always admired that weathervane on top of that bldg. Can’t wait to see what you come up with. I love that ship as much as I have always loved Nipper. Great start. Thank you for sharing it Chuck.

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