I had a great time at Half Moon Bay’s Pumpkin Festival this year. Thanks to Made on the Coast supporting local artists, I had a booth selling my photographs on Main Street which provided an opportunity to meet so many people and get some exposure.
If you asked about up coming projects, here are a few links.
Pigeon Point Lighthouse Projection Event
Saturday, November 15th is the annual celebration of the first lighting in 1872 and they normally have activities and music during the day. Since the Fresnel lens was removed in 2011, they no longer light the original lamp, an event that attracted thousands of people. This year I will be projecting images of the coastside and past lightings onto the lighthouse to bring back some of that experience and raise awareness of the restoration challenges. Look to the lighthouse as it gets dark. Read more about the lighthouse here.
Coastside Photographers is 200 strong and rich with fun loving photographers looking to share photo walks and expertise with anyone with a camera. We meet primarily along the San Mateo County Coast at various times each month. Check out our web page for future and past meets at Coastside Photographers.
On Tuesday, October 7 at about 6:30 pm, at the Johnston House, join me, just after sunset, for a projection presentation of historic images, Galen Wolf paintings and photos from around the San Mateo County Coast.
The Johnston House is located at 110 Higgins-Purisma Road, here in Half Moon Bay, CA.
The weather is looking good to view a great sunset on the ocean (about 6:45 pm) and, about 10 minutes later, a full moon rise behind the Johnston House.
As it gets dark, I will begin a video presentation on the front of the Johnston House, showing photos of the Johnston House juxtaposed from the past and present.
There will also be photos of Galen Wolf paintings, an artist that documented life in San Mateo County in the 1930s and photos I have taken on the Coastside.
Bring your camera and a flashlight and something to sit on, if you like.
After the presentation, I will attempt to perform some light drawing which will also be projected onto the house.
This is a free event! Bring your friends and family! See you there!
Weather permitting – always a consideration in Half Moon Bay – I am inviting camera folk to join me in photographing the near full moon rising behind the Johnston House on Thursday, August 30. I plan to be setup by 7:00pm and expect the moon to appear by 7:25 and the sun setting at 7:40.
The Photographer’s Ephemeris tells me to be near the intersection of Main Street and Higgins Canyon Road looking east toward the house.
The moon is no larger on the horizon than it is when directly overhead. In order to increase the perceived size of the moon, you photograph it along side a landmark, from a distance and with a long lens, zooming in as much as you can to frame the picture. I have a 70-300mm lens but will be using my 70-200mm instead. It is a higher quality lens that gives me sharper pictures. More megapixels in your camera helps when cropping to retain a high resolution photograph. I use a Nikon D7000 with 16MP but have taken decent photos with the 10MP D80.
Exposure is a bit tricky. You might think that an evening shot would require a wider aperture or a slower shutter speed, but the moon can be very bright in a dark sky and to retain crater detail, an under exposed picture (according to the camera’s light meter) might be best.
The picture below was taken with the D80 and the 70-300mm lens at 100 ISO, f/8.0 aperture and 1/50 shutter speed. The original picture was both under exposed for the house and hills and a bit overexposed for the moon and the sky. I then, using Lightroom, lightened the bottom half and darkened the sky which brought out details in both. Bracketing your exposure and layering via HDR should improve that process.
Some folks suggest starting at f/16 with a shutter speed equal to your ISO setting. Those are fast shutter speeds, but use a tripod anyway. And be ready to manually adjust your settings, as the moon rises quickly. In the bay area, the earth is spinning around 818 mph which give you only a few minutes to catch a shot like this.
But the Full Moon is on Friday
It sure is. Those pesky mountains block our view of the horizon and, in this case, the moon doesn’t appear until 26 minutes after the actual rise. Since the sun sets as the moon rises, by the time we see it, the sun is long gone. By shooting the day before the fullness, you can get some of that golden hour sunset light on the Johnston House and less extreme contrast in your exposure.
Update: Local SF and nocturnal photographer Phil McGrew suggests the “Lunar 11” rule. Start with an f stop of 11 and a shutter speed the same as your ISO setting, similar to the “Sunny 16” rule which is to start with f/16 and shutter speed the same as your ISO when in a very sunny environment.
Update 2: Despite perfectly clear evenings the previous 2 nights, the marine layer blanketed the coast with low lying clouds and we saw neither the blue moon rise or the sun set. Next month is another story when, on September 29, full moon rises 24 minutes before the sunsets and may be the best photo op here in Half Moon Bay.
We took our Light Doodles Photo Booth to the Treat Social Club last night and had a great response to the portraits session. The people were fantastic, the music was stellar and the light show amazing.
I did get some time to talk with the video director for some cool insights to the software used. I built a slideshow of our light drawings which included several tango themed pictures which seemed to display just as the accordion played and the dancers were tangoing. And then a yellow giraffe head would pop up. Very trippy. Here are a few shots.
Our Light Doodles photo booth will be creating colorful portraits at the Treat Social Club tonight, Tuesday, August 21. It appears to be a multimedia extravaganza that occurs once a month and we are excited to be invited. Tonight features Tango music and dancers and new music by Sascha Jacobsen, Adam Theis and Eric Garland, plus other special guests and film producers. Come back tomorrow to view the results!
For those of us who like to sleep late, July through September are the best times to find and photograph the Milky Way and the SF bay area based Star Circle Academy can help you. Look to the southern sky from just after sunset to midnight this time of year.
Depending where you are, just looking might not be quite enough. Nocturnal photographer Steven Christenson has posted 2 helpful articles on the Star Circle Academy blog on the subject of finding and photographing the expanse that is our home galaxy and is happy to answer questions in the comments.
If you do nothing else today, watch this video and visit the associated web sites that tell the story of Vivian Maier. This is the most inspiring article on photography I have seen in a long time. Go full screen.