Buck Moon

Delta Lake State Park

I truly haven’t been paying close attention to the moon cycles. I realize I should be writing my thoughts down as soon as they occur. I read something interesting on the internet during the course of the day but when I get home, it is nowhere to be found. This really isn’t a new thing with me, passing thoughts do not go into permanent storage in my head (even when they should). I almost missed July’s full moon.

I guess I got lucky then on Saturday morning. I remembered Friday night that the full moon would be setting a little before 6am. With the sun rising only a few minutes before the moon sets, it would be a good opportunity for photographing the moon. I debated over locations. Based on the direction of the setting moon I could have ventured down to the Utica Marsh but was a little worried about the best location to leave my car. In the end I decided to return to Delta Lake and see if I could manage another full moon reflection.

This is the way to the image I wanted…

Driving into Delta Lake State Park I immediately spot the moon over the tree tops to my left. This is an area of the park that has a small “pond”. I have photographed in this location numerous times, a favorite spot during autumn for the colors of the leaves (Delta Autumn). OK, this is a good place to start.

Descending Moon
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4, 0.8s, 47mm, f/11, ISO 200

There is a lot more growth along the water’s edge than I would have liked for this view. The area where people fish is too far to the left and places the moon into the trees. I make a few exposures trying to decide the right amount of cattails to have in the foreground. I need to be quick as the moon traverses the sky rather quickly at the end of its nightly run. I get the image I wanted, now to move on to the beach.

Driving to the parking area for the the beach I get a glimpse of the moon suspended above the playground equipment. Oh, I can’t let that view go. Luckily, I’m the only person in this part of the park because I might have driven a little too fast. Time is slipping away…

Playful Moon
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4, 0.3s, 100mm, f/11, ISO 200

I wanted the moon big behind the playground. I walked back up the entrance road far enough to use the 100mm end of the lens and still achieve the composition I wanted, the one I saw minutes ago driving in. I little more height would have allowed me bring more of the reflection into the image but the framing is the important aspect of this image. I wanted to have the moon amongst the equipment to add more depth. Right, time is slipping… on to the beach.

Remembering the Strawberry Moon in June I head toward the right side of the beach and start looking for interesting foreground elements. I didn’t need to search long. If I can get the camera low enough I can use one of the benches along the walkway. Now which one do I want.

Relaxin’ Moon
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4, 0.4s, 61mm, f/11, ISO 200

There it is, the one I want. Sitting slightly askew. I want to break up the horizontal lines to create a little tension in the image. It might be an unconscious thought but the brain is not going to like the lines of the bench back not in parallel with all the other elements in the image.

I decide I need to focus stack this one as I could not setup the tripod far enough away to achieve good focus throughout. I focus on the bench and then quickly focus on the moon. I will bring both images into Photoshop to combine them into one. Next! Time is slipping…

I had already done the lifeguard station with the moon in June. But the reflection is calling to me. OK, this one will be different because the station is in the water. Right, logic can be twisted when a reflection is involved. I setup the tripod low again to give the chair as much height as I can. Bam! Got it.

Saving Moon
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4, 1/5s, 100mm, f/11, ISO 200

This one is simple, the reflection is the goal. The low height of the camera to the water stretches out the reflection as far as possible. Should I switch to the 75-300mm lens to enlarge the chair and the moon? No, leave a little breathing room for the moon. Enhance the isolation with the extra sky. Time is slipping… one more?

Although it might be a repeat of June I head down the path toward the point. Maybe there will be something new. Wait, is that a fishing boat under the moon. Luck favors me this morning. Please don’t move, please don’t move…

Buck Moon
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4, 1/5s, 100mm, f/11, ISO 200

That’s the one! The image I was searching for this morning. Sometimes you can plan for the image you want, other times you have to see it when it presents itself to you. I probably would not have captured this one if I didn’t walk down that path toward the point. I’ll take the good luck when I can.

This is the Buck Moon, at least according to the Farmer’s Almanac. The time of the year when the antlers of male deer are in full growth mode. Other names for this moon include Salmon Moon, the Berry Moon, Raspberry Moon and the Thunder Moon. With the sun rising in the East and the moon taking on the magenta color, I can definitely see this one being the Berry Moon

11 responses to “Buck Moon

  1. Very nice to read your story of how you shot this series of images!

    For me, the shot with the lifeguard station is my favourite in the series.

      • It’s the foreground growth I like most in the first! But… I could easily be swayed to your favorite. It just took me forever to figure out how I could zoom in to the photo; I’m a zoomer-inner, like to take a good look around. (Which I just realized I can do on my computer…) I usually LOVE fishermen shots too, so I don’t know what’s missing in it for me… I over vignette: that may be it. The moon is definitely the focus in the last though, and I love the blues, and the moon color is best in it. I just really love the overall feel of the first. Like it’s my cabin-in-the-woods view, a print I’d have on the wall. I loved when you were hoping, hoping, hoping they wouldn’t move…

  2. Oh, my other thing I was going to share! I didn’t want you to think I was crazy, so I warmed you up to my personality first… 🙂 I was super emotional the other day and couldn’t explain it. Later, I noticed this full moon, and now am under self-suspicion that it may be correlated. I may go look at my past evidence on certain days and look up what moon there was… I have always joked that I am part moon, lol. (Like part mermaid, part…)

      • I was in the ocean during the last Super Moon! (Insert starry-eyed emoji). I used to share a lot with the moon. In fact, I self-published (briefly) my first poetry collection a while back and titled it Between Moon and Me. 🙂

      • Yes, right here on my shelf. 🙂 It was during my less emotionally-stable days at a very difficult time in my life, but I may bring it back, a bit edited… I often think of writing about my journey out of those days, but I am a very private person. I wrote those poems under a different pen name. Still, my journey is from darkness to light, so I know it could help others. I’m more confident just refracting the rays though.

      • I believe that is what holds me back about writing more on my posts, I generally don’t share those thoughts or feelings. I’m getting better and oh, boy, when it does pour out I can ramble on for quite a long time…

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