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

Shrine of the Mountain

WDW in B&W – WBW41

Shrine of the Mountain
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4, 1/125s, 41mm, f/11, ISO 200

Lighthouse Bright

Crescent Lake, Walt Disney World

Lighthouse Bright
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4, 1/400s, 29mm, f/11, ISO 200


Crescent Lake, Walt Disney World

Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4, 1/30s, 14mm, f/11, ISO 200

Flying Hinckley

Hinckley Reservoir and the West Canada Creek

Monday morning was a good time for a drive up to Hinckley Reservoir. I hadn’t been for a sunrise over the reservoir in over a year. I also wanted to get in a little early morning flight along the West Canada Creek. I wasn’t positive about the scenery but at least it was an open fly zone.

I started at my favorite spot next to the dam about a half hour before sunrise. The four concrete pillars in the water offer up a nice foreground subject and a bonus for me was the moon had risen about four hours earlier adding a little surprise to the morning sky. These first two images were captured with my trusty Olympus…

Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4, 3.2s, 12mm, f/11, ISO 100
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4, 4s, 15mm, f/11, ISO 100

Next I broke out the drone. There is a parking area below the dam and I thought it would be good to attempt a few images and maybe a video. Still not happy with my video abilities. As much as I try the movements are very mechanical and I’m not happy with the results. I also have been struggling to find a good video editor that isn’t overly complicated but allows me to adjust the result similar to what I can do with the images.

This next set of images are actually backwards in time but show the approach to the dam along the West Canada Creek. I didn’t plan this excursion as much as I should have but I’m learning there is a different thought process needed when working with the drone. The sun only rises once a day and I can’t ask it to try again to correct my missteps.

DJI Air 2S, 22mm f/2.8, 1/160s, f/2.8, ISO 100
Hinckley on the Rise
DJI Air 2S, 22mm f/2.8, 1/30s, f/2.8, ISO 100
The Dam
DJI Air 2S, 22mm f/2.8, 1/30s, f/2.8, ISO 100

I moved down to the boat launch area which is at least a half mile below the dam. I wanted to explore the area around a smaller dam which I assume was built to divert water toward the Trenton Falls Hydroelectric Station (more research required). You can see in the last image the nearly dried creek bed below the dam. I wonder if hiking is allowed (I doubt it). It is interesting to see the difference in the color of the sky in these next images. Looking west, away from the sunrise, the colors are more magenta.

Heading West
DJI Air 2S, 22mm f/2.8, 1/50s, f/2.8, ISO 100
DJI Air 2S, 22mm f/2.8, 1/60s, f/2.8, ISO 100
Power Dam
DJI Air 2S, 22mm f/2.8, 1/60s, f/2.8, ISO 100

Americana Mornin’

Rivers of America, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World

Americana Mornin’
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, 1/125s, f/11, ISO 200