Moon shooting at dawn

THE whole neighborhood was already in dreamland past 3 a.m. when I went out of the house to get a whiff of fresh air a couple of days ago. The world was bathed in full moonlight that it was almost daylight. I was unable to resist the urge to go out and try to capture the full round beauty that most of us take for granted. I decided it was time to put one of my dormant investments to work.

Going back in, I unearthed a 1300mm zoom lens that I purchased some months from its box, shaking off the layers of dust that had accumulated from neglect.

Struggling with a heavy duty 6-foot tripod and the heavy lens was a battle. I haven’t found time to experiment with the knobs and bolts and nuts of both tripod and lens yet and it took me a good quarter of an hour before I was finally able to attach the lens to the tripod.

Getting out of the door with the whole thing was a harder battle and I was scared that the moon would have set by the time I finally get out and the sun would be on its way up.

I succeeded after much struggling and positioned the lens toward where the moon was. I saw only total darkness. I twisted and adjusted knobs and the camera settings but still nothing. The lens would not work. There goes hundreds of dollars down the drain, I gave up in frustration.

I was about to pack everything up and start the struggle of getting the whole thing back inside when I found that the lens cover was still in place that’s why everything was black.

Like a child, I peeked into the viewfinder and kept turning the focus until finally I saw my moon, big and full and round with the blotches and craters that I was unable to capture with my standard lens.  Excited, and armed with my Canon SLR, lens and no knowledge of how to take moon photos, I clicked away, experimenting with different camera settings but it was no easy feat. I had to really stretch out my arm to reach the far end of the lens where the focus was.

Tired but satisfied at last, I ended my dawn adventure and downloaded the photos to my computer. I was unable to capture sharp photos but I was happy with a couple of photos I considered ‘passable’ from almost a hundred shots. Talk about the effort and the muscle pains I went through the next couple of days from struggling with the heavy weights.

For centuries, the moon has never failed to captivate people from all over the world. It has always been a fascinating and intriguing subject to shoot.

Yes, you are right. There’s a full moon every month and we see it going through the different phases throughout the month. We enjoy its brilliance and take it for granted but have you ever really taken time to appreciate this beauty of nature?

When you can, try to capture the brilliant moon with your camera. You don’t need to be a pro. Just enjoy what you are doing. Saipan is one of those places that has lots of ideal places to get really good shots of the moon. Happy moon shooting!


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