Crescent Moon Sequence over Allen Bradley Clock

I was nervous, anticipating the spot where I hoped to execute this piece. TPE shows great detail as to natural land obstacles that might get in the line of sight of a plan such as mine, but city blunders such as buildings or trees could easily foil my plan if they stand close to me obscuring my 7.7º angle of view to the Allen Bradley. It’s not as though I could just easily pick another spot – this place was the spot that would enable my vision. 
We got to the area and while driving there were a lot of buildings and the ‘future’ for this image looked like it may be bleak. But as we pulled onto Water Street, south of the Third Ward, through tree linings that obscured, there was ONE beautiful opening that revealed almost the amount of space I needed to execute this image. 

When I say almost, … trees on either side would make it not possible to get the moon set at 8:30, but after much planning practice, I projected I’d get the moon until roughly 8pm. … and that was about right. 

The Execution: 8:05 perhaps was the last in the sequence, and I was happy that I could see the moon through the tree branches (they were sheer, like lace), so the sequence was brilliant. In fact, I think the composition is more interesting given the trees that were on either side. …a silver lining indeed. The other plus to the composition was the beautiful American flag above the clock!!

My 5 minute sequence began at 6:50 and ended at 8:05, though according to the big clock it was more like 8pm. 

I had 15 moons in my sequence. My Plan was for 20 moons. I had 15 in 75 minutes (with out the 25 unusable minutes where  the moon was hidden). 

200 ISO  and 1/15s at f/8.    

allen bradley clock and moon
time lapse in a single image: the moon descending over the Allen Bradley clock, Milwaukee in 5 minute intervals
sketch image plan



every 5 minutes… notice the hands of the clock at 5 minute increments
The plan:
Location found with TPE shows my object at a bearing of   232° from me. The clock is 281 feet tall and at a distance of 1861 feet I look up to it at 7.7° (also accounting for the +change in elevation) . 

Via Google Earth it looks as there are no natural barriers that might obstruct my view. However, I’ll see when I get there if there are close trees or houses that might not be able to be accounted for via the app.

TPE is invaluable for the following information/ calculations:


TPE shows no natural obstructions to my view of the clock . it also shows bearing , distance and angle from me to my subject.

TPE shows the travel of the moon ‘s azimuth and elevation as it moves to set
I’d start at 6:50, placing the moon at 227° (left of the clock) and 14.9° above the clock. I’d let it climb down and to the right at 5 minute intervals- 

And Photo pills is invaluable for this information:


PhotoPills helps pick a focal length that will include the area needed for my intended image
Helping me to pick the right focal length for my vision based on the vertical and horizontal angle of views I will be utilizing (clock and the moon descent across and down the sky).



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