The luster of mid-day

With thanks to Clement Clarke Moore … and given the recent Christmas holiday … the following quote seems a particularly appropriate way to begin this post.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below.

I have always had an appreciation for images taken after dark and have noted that fellow WordPress photoblogger Patrick Latter does a nice job of this. Friday was particularly hectic. Wednesday’s snow added time to both morning and afternoon chores. On top of that Joanna thought that establishing email service with our not-so-local ISP would take a very few minutes. Three hours and four helpful technicians later she had the new account up and running. By the time we turned our attentions to dinner we were both well beyond our hungry. Neither of us was in the mood to cook and so we opted for local pizza takeout. On my way down the mountain I noticed the full moon (and, I mean genuinely full, we are experiencing a waning gibbous moon today). Although we had nearly eight additional inches of snow yesterday, the sky was perfectly clear on Friday night and as I made my way to town the moonlight illuminated the trees along the road and cast shadows into the surrounding wood. After wolfing my dinner I excused myself quickly and without ceremony from the table … pulled on my coveralls … grabbed my camera … and went for walk down to the pond. In a stroke of genius my daughter had recently given me an infrared remote for the D600. In anticipation of taking some images at night I had familiarized myself with protocols for timed exposure. It was cold and I was pretty tired (at 9:30 PM it was well past my bedtime) – but the wind was still and the snow had not yet begun to fall. I took several dozen shots including the one below. For those with interest the image was taken with the D600 on a tripod at ISO100, 14mm, f4.5 at 15 seconds. Although I gave a quick review of each shot after it was taken, I was astonished when I looked at these in detail. I was astonished because … forgive me for sounding silly … it was dark outside when I took these … so dark that I needed a flashlight to enable me to see the camera’s knobs, dials, and switches. Mr. Moore would certainly have noted and appreciated the fact that the moon truly did gave the luster of mid-day to objects. Amazing, don’t you think?


14 thoughts on “The luster of mid-day

  1. Beautiful, and of course I appreciate your astonishment! I’m not versed, still, on how/why/when I can get the shots I might get with my camera. However, your choice of words to illustrate the photograph were dead-on! Neat passage to pair with the striking photo!

    1. Thanks. Don’t tell anyone (is this the second thing I’ve told you not to tell anyone today?) … but, my bedtime reading since getting the camera back in October has been the Users Manual! Drives Joanna nuts! The manuals for the point-n-clicks are never very useful … but the very large manuals for most DSLRs are actually quite good. With all your spare time (!) you should read through your manual which will lead you through use of all the dials, levers, and buttons. You’d be surprised how much easier it is to make field adjustment when you’ve fiddled with things beforehand. BTW – what type of new camera did you purchase? D

  2. We share the moon .. I noticed it too a couple of days back. Didn’t manage to capture such a beautiful sky-and-land pic though! Beautiful … not often I wish I was somewhere else but … just for a minute, you did it. Hope the pizza was great … it probably was if you included peppers :>) Good the next day too!

    1. Hey Maurice … glad you enjoyed the image. I’m looking forward to the new moon so I can do it all again by star light alone. And, yup … the pizza was nice … even if it didn’t have peppers … perhaps next time. Thanks for checking in. Dave

    1. Absolutely. The remote is useful in that it allows you to trip the shutter without having the push the shutter button which can shake the camera. Not only that but you can set the camera such that one push of the remote raises the camera’s mirror (which also can shake the camera) and another push of the remote opens the shutter curtain itself. The bottom line is that the remote is absolutely essential equipment if you’re going to take photos of the sort shown in this post. Thanks indeed. D

  3. You really are stretching yourself in an effort to realize the potential of these lenses. It’s incredible that you took this in the dark. It evokes the feeling of the sledding scene in Ethan Frome. I love it.

  4. Impressive considering that it was so dark! It looks like late afternoon. And so many stars. Very pretty!
    We got about 6″ of snow. Not too bad. Shoveling was our exercise for the day.

    1. We had a bit more than a foot … just makes absolutely EVERYTHING more difficult. I don’t mind cold, at all … it’s snow and ice that I don’t appreciate. Spring is coming though.

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