Night Photography at the Wisconsin State Capitol, Madison – Planning Created with the Photographer’s Ephemeris – Fine Art Prints

Madison Wisconsin, Wisconsin's State Capitol

20150305 / Project 365 fine art prints

Find these prints. Collectable Prints available here ~ 

Artistry is wonderful in those times when luck puts you in the right place at the right time (and I love those times too .. ), but... its really worthwhile to figure out when that right time will be when you've found that 'right place' .. and its really worthwhile to figure out where that right place might be when you know when the right time may present itself. .. How often have I found myself in the right place at the wrong time .. or at the right time, searching frantically for the right place. .. 

.. ah, the planning .. meticulously calculating azimuth and angles of where the moon would be (in this case) .. 

Enter The wonderful TPE tool ~ the Photographer's Ephemeris and the new Photographer's Transit: With the use of these tools I was able to calculate azimuth of the moon from where I could stand. From there I could find out whether the full moon over that azimuth was even possible. It was! .. From that knowledge, I was able to determine what time and at what angle the moon would arrive over my subject. Each image situation was unique and planned accordingly.

In the above image (moon set over the Wisconsin State Capitol) I am 2.6 miles nearly directly east of the capitol .. the moon was to set at 6:11am at 276º. I planned ahead to find a spot, hoping that I could hike out onto the ice to be in position for this exact image. .. 

Imagine how exciting it is to see a plan come to fruition .. 


The above image was the most difficult to plan and execute. With all of the buildings in the way, and being a moon rise over the capitol, I needed to accurately predict where the moon would be visible upon its rise. It would come across from the left at about 11º. Here its at about 14º elevation from where I am standing. If I had stood further back my angle would be smaller and the moon would appear too high in the sky when it appeared. For example, if I was standing where the capitol was at a 4º angle and the moon became visible at 11º, there is quite a difference in space between the top of the capitol and the moon. I wanted the moon closer to the building. TPE helped me to plan where I would situate myself. 

This image of the Madison Capitol is an example of one that couldn't show the full moon. The moon was far to the left of the Capitol here. My bearing to the capitol from where I stood on the ice of Lake Monona was Northwest. We never see the moon in the Northwest sky. It travels from its rise in the east, south and over to its set in the west. 

However, I still used TPE and transit to plan where to stand to create the balance I acheived here. It was quite a hike out onto the lake in the dark and a bit eery! 



3 responses to “Night Photography at the Wisconsin State Capitol, Madison – Planning Created with the Photographer’s Ephemeris – Fine Art Prints

  1. I absolutely love your photographs! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi Paul,

    thank you very much and you are most welcome!
    Kristen 🙂

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