‘Ecliptic Dance’ – 20150404
This Morning starting at 4:57 AM (before the eclipse & before too many clouds!)
exposures of the moon seen clearly and then hazy through clouds as it reaches partial eclipse (5:15). It was obscured by clouds often but still made an appearance to show its descending path from 11º elevation towards the horizon to set. However, soon the clouds completely obscured any trace of the moon and where it ends here is where I would see it no more …
The technical details (skip if you wish!):
The Plan / the Vision:
In planning, I knew I wanted to show the descending path of the moon.The goal was to show the moon prior to eclipse at about 11º in the sky and then capture its descent to the horizon. The vertical span was 11º and the horizontal path would traverse from 244º azimuth to 262.7º. I chose my 85 mm tilt shift lens for the job; its Horizontal angle of view is 23.85º and 16º Vertical angle of view (more when shifted upward in landscape mode).
Since setting moons are easier to negotiate as far as time lapse, I set up with the moon in the upper left of my upward shifted lens. I originally was going to make images every 3 minutes, which would give a narrow gap in between each image. However, due to the cloud cover I opted to make images every 30 seconds instead, increasing my chances of moon shots that weren’t fully obscured by clouds.
Nikon D810 with intervalometer set to 30 second Intervals
Gitzo tripod and Really Right Stuff Ballhead
Nikkor PCE 85 mm tilt shift lens (shifted down for continued time lapse of the moon and the foreground)
TPE and Photo Transit app for image planning.
Photoshop CS6 for processing.
Image files introduced into Photoshop as layers and mode set to ‘lighten’ on each file.
I deleted images that were too obscured by clouds or that overlapped too much. I did utilize the move tool to slightly move and align some of the moon shots to fall into position of others that had been obscured. I did this carefully so as to preserve the integrity of the pattern of the moon exactly as it was.
Cropped image to an exact 1:1
Desaturated the blue color in LAB for color balance. Slight dodge and burn. Sharpened.