One could be forgiven for assuming the moon is a stationary object. When it’s “oot and aboot” as us Canucks apparently say, every time during the evening when one looks up in the sky, the moon’s in the same place. It’s one of those things that move so slowly that it appears not to move at all. Except when it’s the subject of a photo.
This afternoon as I waited for the bus, I noticed there was the slightest sliver of a moon in the dusk evening sky. Then I noticed it was already dark enough that Venus was visible. Photo op! I was already planning the photo shoot for when I got home.
The other day I came across my previous attempt at capturing Venus next to the moon. Turns out it was back in March 2009. I noticed the celestial phenomenon from the back yard after I’d let our dog out. I grabbed my point-and-shoot, steadied it on the back fence and got a pretty good shot, in my humble opinion.
|Venus and the moon; March, 2009.|
This evening I decided I’d try again. The moon was the similar crescent shape I’d seen in 2009 as well. I knew I’d have to act fairly fast as Venus descends quite rapidly, celestially speaking of course. What I didn’t realize is that the moon would also descend quickly.
I gathered up my dSLR (and my dog, of course) and headed to the darkest property in my ‘hood; the cemetery. I steadied the camera on a stone monument and experimented with shutter speeds and apertures. I’m pretty rusty with night photography; it took about a dozen shots before I got anything even remotely close to a well exposed photo. The moon and Venus continued to appear fuzzy. I think it’s due to the distance they each move across the sky just a tiny bit in the time the shutter is open during those longer than normal exposures.
And they definitely do move. In the 20 minutes or so of fiddling about that I spent, the moon actually dropped below the tree line, spoiling the planned unity of both planet and moon in one photo for this evening.
|Venus and the moon; December 4, 2013. However, the long exposure nullified the effect of the "sliver" crescent.|
|I took a solo shot of the moon just to prove it was indeed a sliver, not altogether evident in the previous photo.|