Photograph the Moon Rise at Sunset Tonight, October 4, 2017

Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve: Super Moon Rise

The moon will rise shortly before sunset tonight, providing a perfect opportunity to photograph the moon near the horizon at sunset.  Here are 38 degrees north it’ll rise about 15 minutes before sunset, and be about 1.6 degrees high, or three moon widths, above a zero-degree horizon at sunset.

Mono Lake Moonrise (Re-edit)

About ten minutes later as you may start to see the earth’s shadow rise above the horizon, its blue color contrasting against the adjacent pink-orange last light of the sun in the “belt of Venus” effect, the moon will be about 3.5 degrees high, seven moon widths.

Super Moon Reflection

In apps such as The Photographer’s Ephemeris and PhotoPills you can fine tune the times and moon direction and elevation for any shooting spot you might want to plan for.  Plan well enough, and you can anticipate compositions that place the moon reflecting in lakes, or beside or just over natural or man-made landmarks.

Moon Rise Behind Half Dome

Similar opportunities present themselves on the opposite horizon with the moon set at sunrise, so look at your favorite astrophotography app and start planning! You can combine opportunities, such as catching a moon coming out of eclipse, as it sets behind a nearby ridge.

Partially Eclipsed Moon Setting, October 8, 2014

Or place the moon on a man-made structure like the tip of the Transamerica building in San Francisco.  I started shooting this sequence of images about 15 minutes ahead of time to show how the placement of the moon can be accurately planned in advance, and rendering the images as a time-lapse video lets you see the entire sequence:

Plan to Shoot the April 14/15 2014 Lunar Eclipse: Example Landing on the Transamerica Pyramid
As calculated, the moon ends up centered on the tip of the pyramid!

For a discussion of advanced considerations, read the article, “I’ve planned my supermoon eclipse shot: what could possibly go wrong?

For a bonus on the tomorrow morning, I see in my SkyWeek+ app that the planets moonVenus and Mars will be within 1/4 degree of each other before dawn on October 5.  The StarWalk+ app shows me that they will be rising by about 5:10 am roughly due east.  Photograph them on and close to the horizon, then conditions should continue to improve improve by around 6 am as they’re rising out of the thicker air and haze close to the horizon.  At that point they are still low enough to be captured in landscape shots as the oncoming twilight increasingly illuminates the landscape.  The sun rises close to 7 am, so they may fade as the sky brightens, and Mars in particular may be long gone by 6:30 am.

Venus Jupiter Moon Conjunction

You never know what you might come up with.  A while back I shot the moon with Jupiter and Venus rising nearby, and my photo was used in an article by astronomer Don Olson of the University of Texas, in an article in the August issue of Sky & Telescope Magazine!

I haven’t looked up the phase that Venus is in, but if you have a strong enough lens, youc an see that it’s illuminated in a crescent phase.

Multi-Colored UFO?

The first step is to anticipate and plan for some great opportunities with the moon and/or planets. Then get out there and shoot! Tonight at sunset and tomorrow before dawn offer you a couple of good ones to start with. You never know what you might discover!

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Solar Eclipse Road Trip, Here We Come!

Solar eclipse photography

Solar eclipse October 2014

I can’t wait to get on the road to shoot the Great American Eclipse!

The path of the moon’s shadow, where the total eclipse will be visible, goes right across the United States.  If you’re not directly in that path a partial eclipse will be visible if you have proper viewing glasses that block the most harmful wavelengths of light.  But people who have experienced totality say there’s nothing quite like it, and you should get to the path if you can.

So where should you go?  Bear in mind that totality lasts 2-3 minutes, so if you have multiple routes to take, weather can be a consideration.  The site GreatAmericanEclipse has suggested ten of the better spots across the country.  They also have state by state maps showing the path of the eclipse across the country, with lines to show the approximate duration of totality depending upon where in that path you are.

Sky and Telescope Magazine suggests a similar Top 10 Places to View the Solar Eclipse.  Another map by Xavier Jubier has superimposed the path of the earth’s shadow on an interactive Google map in case you want to find a place a little less promoted.

Crowds are expected to be record-breaking along the path of the solar eclipse coming up August 21.  Many areas are trying to implement temporary traffic control plans in the narrow path of the moon’s shadow.  I hear that even porta-potty rentals are in short supply as communities try to cope with the crowds.  Fortunately I’ll be bringing my own facilities with me!

You may thank that Jackson, Wyoming sounds like an attractive place to catch the eclipse, but the sun will be south, not west towards the Tetons when the eclipse peaks.  The Jackson Hole Astronomy Club did extensive research with local meteorologists on data from the 2005 – 2015 and determined that just about anywhere else within a 3 mile driving radius had better odds of clear weather.  I’ll be staying near there, but eclipse day is expected to be the busiest day ever for the area, so traffic jams and parking issues could seriously affect viewing plans, and I have plans to exit the area if the crowds look too daunting or the weather forecast turns bad.

If that all sounds like too much risk or hassle to be worth the trip, no problem, there’s a tool that can help you determine how much of an eclipse will be visible wherever you are on that day.

Thank you +Capital Ford for getting the +Ford Motor Company-remanufactured engine into my Ford F-350 truck ASAP so we can stake our claim to a great shooting location!  As of August 4 it’s not going to be back in time to leave this weekend, but they assure me that it’ll be done by Monday or Tuesday.  Fingers crossed!
I’ll make a separate post on viewing and photography, including some of the products I’ve bought for the trip.

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Moon, Jupiter and Venus Conjunction at Mono Lake

One of my photos from this moon and planet rise event has been published as the lead photo in an article in the August 2017 +SkyandTelescope Magazine by Don Olson, page 68. A description of Don's work to decipher a poem by Lord Byron appears on the Texas State University Web site, along with a copy of the photo:
'Celestial Sleuth' identifies Lord Byron's stellar inspiration http://www.txstate.edu/news/news_releases/news_archive/2017/June-2017/Olson062617.html

Here's their description of the photo:
"On August 23, 2014, astrophotographer +Jeff Sullivan observed the Moon with Jupiter nearby in a morning twilight sky. Glitter paths below three celestial bodies reflect in the waters of California’s +Mono Lake in this morning twilight scene captured by astrophotographer Jeff Sullivan. Venus, at lower left, has just risen above the distant hills. Jupiter, with its Galilean satellites visible, stands higher in the sky, just below the stars of the Beehive Cluster, M44. The faint glow of Earthshine appears on the “dark” part of the waning crescent Moon. Automobile headlights illuminate the tufa rocks on the shore of +Mono Lake in the foreground."

Astrophotographers and astronomers may recognize Don's name as the professor who publishes yearly predictions of lunar rainbow "moonbow" dates and times for Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park.

For more photos from the event and a description of my planning process involving +SkyandTelescope, +Universe Today, +EarthSky, and +The Photographer's Ephemeris see my original blog post covering the event:
http://www.jeffsullivanphotography.com/blog/2014/08/23/planet-and-moon-conjunction-at-sunrise/

I can't wait to see the magazine!

#astronomy #astrophotography #ShotOniPhone #iphoneography

 

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Super Moon Rise at Mono Lake, Eastern Sierra, California

With the full moon occurring at dawn this month, there were actually two full moon rises close to sunset. This was the first one, captured over Mono Lake in California's Eastern Sierra region..

#easternsierra #california #landscapephotography #astrophotography

 

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Perseid Meteor Shower 2016

I've been chasing every meteor shower that I could see with my camera since 2009. This year's Perseid meteor shower was one of the best I've experienced so far.

These are "work in progress" shots, where I've saved the images with meteors in them, and brought those into one composite image.

http://www.jeffsullivanphotography.com/blog/eastern-sierra-fall-colors-photo-workshops/ #nightphotography #astrophotography #photographyworkshops #easternsierra #california #canon #6D

   

In Album Astrophotography

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Space Debris 9:37 pm July 27

Originally shared by +Jeff Sullivan

Space debris enters the atmosphere near Mono Lake California at 9:37 pm July 27, identified as the second stage from the first Chang Zheng 7 rocket, launched Jun 25, reentered at 0440 UTC. A sonic boom (or sound from an explosion) arrived 9:45pm.

Www.JeffSullivanPhotography.com
#astrophotography #canon #6D #news #nightphotography #landscapephotography #space

 

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Space Debris 9:37 pm July 27

Space debris enters the atmosphere near Mono Lake California at 9:37 pm July 27, identified as the second stage from the first Chang Zheng 7 rocket, launched Jun 25, reentered at 0440 UTC. A sonic boom (or sound from an explosion) arrived 9:45pm.

Www.JeffSullivanPhotography.com
#astrophotography #canon #6D #news #nightphotography #landscapephotography #space

 

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Tranquility

A shot from my testing of the Canon EOS 6D body I picked up last month. I had been shooting it like I had been shooting my Canon EOS 5D Mark III for the past few years, but it turns out, as is often the case, that the newer camera deserves its own unique approach. There's no substitute for performing your own exhaustive research on your new cameras, so you can best integrate any extended capabilities into your workflow. My Bodie, Eastern Sierra and White Mountains/Bristlecone Pines workshop customers will be getting an earful in the next 2 weeks.

Even though the 6D is only about a year newer than the 5D Mark III, I couldn't do this with the older model. The 6D model is now a couple of years old, so I have very high expectations for what Canon can accomplish with the rumored 5D Mark IV model that may be coming this fall!

#Canon #astrophotography #landscapephotography
+Jeff Sullivan Photography www.JeffSullivanPhotography.com

 

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Summer Solstice Sunrise Moon Set

On the summer solstice this year the full Strawberry moon set just after sunrise before it rose again shortly after sunset that evening. The last time the full moon came on the summer solstice was in 1967. The next time will be on June 21, 2062, although it'll come close on June 20, 2035.

#astrophotography #easternsierra #landscapephotography
+Jeff Sullivan Photography www.JeffSullivanPhotography.com

 

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South Tufa Milky Way Panorama

Before my June 4/5 Bodie workshops I held a short Eastern Sierra workshop to show some of my customers some additional locations. One of the places we went was Mono Lake, to catch the Milky Way rising over the calcium carbonate tufa formations.

#astrophotography #nightphotography #photographyworkshops #landscapephotography #easternsierra #california +Jeff Sullivan Photography www.JeffSullivanPhotography.com

 

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