Friday, May 24, 2013

May Moonrise, Lonesome Valley

Today was full moon Friday, time for May's Full Moon. It would be "100% illuminated", as the scientists say, at about 9:30 PM. After dark, that is.

So, the time to make moonrise shots was around sunset time, before it got too dark. The moon would rise early enough to make it happen. Who cares, or could tell, that it would only be 99.999% illuminated at that time?

Lonesome Valley basalt butte and Granite Mountain (far horizon).
I was in place at the north end of Lonesome Valley, in the central highlands of Yavapai County, Arizona. The basalt buttes and the distant skyline of Granite Mountain provided a nice sunset light scenic to the southwest. 

Then, my attention was to the southeast, toward Mingus Mountain and the Black Hills, where the moon would appear. 

It was a calm, peaceful late spring evening, and nobody was around. The Earth's shadow made its familiar gradation from blue to pink. Then the moon began edging over the horizon of the mountains. Perfect. 

And it was. I made several exposures from wide angle, which showed the Earth's shadow colors better, to medium telephoto, with the mountains larger within the frame. 

Then it was time to go back to my studio and see how I did. Now you can see, too. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

High Desert Reading Room

A perfect May afternoon in the Central Arizona Highlands of Yavapai County: not just the trademark Arizona blue sky, but also featuring perfect cumulus clouds for an added, slowly changing treat. 

I pulled over at one my my favorite spots at the north end of Lonesome Valley. Time to kick back, drink some water, eat a snack, watch the afternoon go peacefully by. Savor and savor some more until the sunset hour arrived.

I was reading Ellsworth Kolb's Through the Grand Canyon From Wyoming to Mexico, the first person account of he and his brother Emery's famous river expedition that captured the first motion pictures of running the wild river, way back in 1911-12. Being professional photographers, their equipment was their life, especially on that hazardous trip.

Meanwhile, here I was about a hundred years later, with my jewel of a digital camera to photograph with on a lazy spring Saturday, about 80 miles south of Grand Canyon. I was in such a perfect spot that I actually took some of my photos from the cab of my pickup truck, while reading the book. Not exactly an expedition. Just incredibly satisfying.

Then I got the idea of shooting a panoramic image from inside the truck, using it as the frame to the scenery I was reveling in. Even a clip of video. To document my mobile reading room.

The Kolb brothers would have appreciated it, I'm sure. Get the shot, no matter how hard, or how easy.