Travel theme : Light

Earlier this week, there was a penumbral eclipse of the Moon. The general consensus seems to be that these are difficult to see. Nevertheless, there were hundreds of people out on Thursday night to get a glimpse of the moon. I too was amongst them, camera in hand. The “eclipse” made a brief appearance and consistent with the general consensus, was difficult to see. I took the opportunity to shoot some City lights as well. I tried tweaking the lens during the exposure and ended up with some interesting results. These are my images in response to Ailsa’s “light” prompt for the travel theme on http://www.wheresmybackpack.com
………..the journey continues………..

light-10
light-8
light-2-2
light-5-2
light-3-2
light-6-2
light-4-2

Now you see it …..now you don’t……

I suppose those that read my “on the flip side” blog of yesterday will probably be able to relate to the context of this blog more easily. So if you find your self going .”what in heavens name is he talking about???” it might be a good idea to glance at yesterdays post too. So, I guess the anti climax of not being able to see the lunar eclipse after all the prepararation, hadn’t worn off. Well, what can I say? all that anticipation had to go somewhere, after all that is what perseverence is all about. Well, I’m just not someone who will just give up and walk away dejected. So, I figured, despite the fact that I’m very efficient at planning ahead and ensuring that all the ducks are in a row well in advance, I am probably even more efficient at being spontaneous!! Hah! the light bulb moment!! 🙂 Why not try and catch the sunrise this morning instead. Now, normally, with the day job, this wouldn’t be possible, but as it turned out, today happens to be Public Holiday here. Brought about by really tragic circumstances, with the Soweto uprising in 1976. A truly sad moment in our history. June 16 is Youth Day. Below is an extract from Wikipedia with more detail.

The Soweto Uprising also known as “June 16”, was a series of student-led protests in South Africa that began on the morning of June 16, 1976. Students from numerous Sowetan schools began to protest in the streets of Soweto, in response to the introduction of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction in local schools . An estimated 20 000 students took part in the protests, and roughly 176 people were killed. The 16th of June is now a public holiday, Youth Day, in South Africa, in remembrance of the events in 1976.

Considering it is winter here at the moment, sunrise is only at 07.45, so no necessity to wake up at an unreasonably early hour. No problem with equipment, everything had been prepared for last night, so literally I was ready to leave at the drop of a hat. The Alarm tweeted its gentle reminder at 06.30, and I was on the road to where I was expecting to shoot from, within 20 minutes. Plenty of time to set up before the sun made an appearance. The sky was a bit cloudy, but hey! nothing to unsettle a determined soul :-). Oops! spoke to soon did I. Shortly before I got to the place the weather decided to assert its authority once again!! The heavens opened up and it rained cats, dogs, monkeys and rats :-). But, I figured it must be a passing shower, which would dissipate soon. No such luck. Undeterred, I kept looking up at the sky longingly, while still heading in the direction of my destination. And in another Abracadabra moment I caught a glimpse of it. What? I can imagine you’re thinking!! Well, believe it or not, it was the moon, yes, the evasive one from last night, busy revealing itself while setting in the west. Did you guess that??  Well, I did tell you I was spontaneous, so the route was changed on the fly, as the target had just been revised. No sunrise visible, why not just go and shoot the moonset instead. No problem.  That brings us to the topic of todays blog “Now you see it…now you don’t“.

I headed in the direction of the setting moon, and found a vantage point shortly before it disappeared into low cloud cover. Finally managed to get some pictures of the moon, all the preparation was not in vain, and the perseverence paid off. Okkk!! twelve hours later, no eclipse, not rising but setting, heyy!! come on, cut me some slack :-), thats a technicality, if you forget about the eclipse, look at it this way, “what goes up, must come down”…its the primary law of gravity……..the  journey continues……………..

So here’s a one time exclusive view of the moon, twelve hours after the lunar eclipse of June 2011. Remember the next time you wiill be able to see this view 12 hours after a lunar eclipe will be in 2018 :-)-:)

Canon 7d, Canon 18-200mm lens f3.5/5.6, ISO 100, F5.6, 1/80 sec,FL=200mm


Canon 7d, Canon 18-200mm lens f3.5/5.6, ISO 100, F4.5, 1/60 sec, FL=35mm


Canon 7d, Canon 18-200mm lens f3.5/5.6, ISO 100, F7.1, 1/60 sec,FL=40mm


Canon 7d, Canon 18-200mm lens f3.5/5.6, ISO 100, F5.6, 1/80 sec,FL=200mm

the flip side……………

There has been a lot of discussion in the last two blogs about being prepared for any eventuality, so that you are ready to photograph anything out of the ordinary that you may stumble upon. This is not always the case as there are many times when you are aware of something that is going to happen, and specifically prepare for that shooting opportunity. So weeks before the time, the preparation begins, seeking out suitable locations to shoot from, planning what gear to take with, ensuring that the equipment is all in working order, charging the necessary batteries, almost down to planning the actual shots you want to take.                                                                Days before the scheduled date, appointments are moved around to ensure that on the day, no disruptions will arise to derail the process, even mealtimes are adjusted for the day to ensure that the planned shoot is not derailed by hunger pangs striking at the critical moment. 🙂

Such was my preparation in anticipation of the lunar eclipse that was scheduled to be visible in Southern Africa this evening. The weather forecast earlier this week predicted a cold front and substantial rain today, but I guess I was just not expecting that the foul weather would be such a party pooper :-), or maybe I just didnt want to hear of it :-). So I was steadfast in my determination that come hail or high water, I was going to photograph this Lunar eclipse. After all it is the longest Lunar Eclipse this century. The next one is scheduled for 2018!!                                                                                 When the weather turned nasty this morning, I still had hope that at the critical moment the Photography Angels would snap their fingers, say Abracadabra, and the weather  would clear up for the two hours that the eclipse was going to be visible.  There was substantial cloud cover for most of the day, with short spells of heavy rain.                                                                                                                 Earlier this evening, closer to the precision planned time of departure to one of my shooting sites, there was a lull in the weather. I saw it as a sign that all was well, and everything would just fall into place as planned. So, I ticked off the checklist and hopped into the car to head towards the rendevous point. On the way there, the rain started softly, then a little harder, followed by some serious lightning, and a black cloud decended over the direction I was travelling in. It felt like the closer I got to where I was going, the weather just got worse… :-(. Eventually, I decided that going any further was just futile, and headed back home.

Soooo……”the flip side of the story” I suppose is that despite the fact that you have a flawless plan prepared and executed, there are numerous factors outside your control, that also have to fall into place simultaneously………………the journey continues…………..

In keeping with todays lunar theme, I’m posting some images of full moon earlier this year, yep! taken from some of the vantage points I was scheduled to go to today..

Canon 7d, Canon 18-200mm f3.5/5.6,ISO 100,f16,1/10 sec FL=18mm


Canon 7d, Canon 18-200mm f3.5/5.6,ISO 100,f14,1/20 sec FL=170mm


Canon 7d, Canon 18-200mm f3.5/5.6, ISO 100, f6.3,1/5 sec FL=50mm


Canon 7d, Canon 18-200mm f3.5/5.6, ISO 100,f11,5 sec FL=18mm