This image took Third Place in the Black & White division of the Mission Trails Regional Park annual photography contest.
Rats! I missed the deadline for the International Exhibition of Photography at the Del Mar Fair this year. The announcement brochure came after I left on my road trip, and the deadline passed before I returned. However, I did manage to prepare and submit five images for the Mission Trails Regional Park annual photography contest. They were taken from the black and white portfolio I prepared for the second
UCSD Extension photography course I took.
See my niece Kristy’s photography web site.
Of my five entries for the International Exhibition of Photography at the San Diego County Fair, only this one was accepted.
I just turned in my entries for the International Exhibition of Photography at the San Diego County Fair. These are the five images I submitted.
All were taken digitally with the Canon EOS 1Ds and printed on my Epson 2200 inkjet printer. Results are due to be mailed out on June 9.
It was a warm night on the mountain, and the skies were fairly clear, and I’m supposed to be coming up with a “Night” photograph for the Del Mar Fair, so I tried for some star trails above the house at Fern Meadow. Alas, the light pollution from L.A. is too bright for really long exposures. With the wide angle lens I wanted to use for composition, it takes minutes to get noticeable star trails. I did get some star map photos showing the house. Unfortunately they are too noisy to print big. Very long exposures is still a domain where film does better than conventional (as opposed to astronomical) digital cameras.
The Moon is dark during an eclipse. The Moon is small. And the Moon is moving. This is a bad combination.
A small subject means a long focal length lens. I don’t currently own any supertelephoto lenses, which tend to be big, heavy, and expensive. My longest lens is a 70-200 f/2.8 zoom, with a 2X teleconverter. That makes a 140-400 f/5.6. Long enough to show the half-degree-wide Moon in context with some landscape, but slow.
Dark subject + slow lens = long exposure
Long exposure + moving subject = blur
The really dumb part of this story is that I had taken the trouble to calculate the longest exposure that would result in minimal blur. I had even posted my results on a web forum. The answer is that shutter speeds have to be faster than about 1/4 second. But I did this calculation five or six weeks before the eclipse, and then forgot the answer. By the time I was out in the field trying to photograph the eclipse, I mis-remembered the answer as 8 seconds.
With a digital camera, getting a reasonable exposure is never a big mystery. You just look at the histogram display and adjust the exposure until it shows something usable. Using this procedure, I ended up with exposures ranging from 6 to 30 seconds. Unfortunately this resulted in so much motion blur that the resulting images are useless.