One Advantage of Cold Nights

Last Monday night, while walking to my car to go home from work, I noticed a bright moon overhead with Jupiter very close by. It was very cold, the air was still, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

This would be a great opportunity to try out my new 100-400mm telephoto zoom lens on something other than small birds.

So, as soon as I got home, I grabbed my camera and went outside and took the picture above. Taking a properly exposed picture of the moon hand held is not that hard because the light coming back from the moon is similar to daylight on earth.

The difficult part about getting a sharp picture of the moon is overcoming the atmospheric distortions caused by thermal currents. The great thing about cold winter nights is the lack of thermal currents between you and the moon. It really helps in getting a sharp photo. (If you want to see more detail on the surface of the moon just click on the picture and use the zoom tool on the landing page)

As I was processing my moon photo, it occurred to me that the size of the moon in the original exposure was very much the same size as a lot of the small birds I’ve been photographing. (see the picture below)

This second picture is cropped the exact same amount as the picture of the moon above. What that means is that both the moon and the bird occupy the same angle of view in the view finder.

Right now you’re probably thinking, so… ?

Well, it just struck me as interesting and somewhat ironic that the same lens would be so effective at taking pictures of something so big and something so small.

Cheers – DJD

Rain since last posting: 0.75 in. 2013 year to date: 2.75 in.

Explore posts in the same categories: In Our Back Yard, Nature, Photography, Random musings

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