Supermoon, Airplane and Calgary Tower in one


Calgary, Alberta, Canada I really wanted a photo of the supermoon against something that was iconically Calgary. At the same time I didn't want to photoshop the moon to make it look bigger. In order to show a large moon I had to use a telephoto lens and be somewhat far from the tower itself. This meant mapping the path of the moon ahead of time and knowing where I had to stand to get the Calgary tower visible. After a few calculations I knew that I had to be at the Jubilee auditorium, a place I've always gone to and had a fantastic time watching Alberta Ballet or other fantastic shows.

One other problem with shooting such a bright object is that the camera can't capture the comparatively dim lights of the towers and the bright moon at the same time. This required that I take two photos at different exposure levels and mash them together to get the combined details of the moon's beautiful craters and the city's vibrant textures. I had the lucky bonus of an airplane flying in front of the moon while I took the shot, creating a cool streak across the sky.

I have to stress that the the size or shape of the moon has not been manipulated, the only "photoshopping" in this photo is the combining of the two exposures, the large size of the moon is magnified just as much as the tower is by using my 400mm lens on a canon 7D.

Exposure 1 for the city: 4s f/8.0 ISO200 400mm (Brighter) Exposure 2 for the moon 1s f/8.0 ISO100 400mm (Darker)

Arctic moonrise


Canadian high arcticfrom the blog

Later in august the sun will start setting below the horizon only to pop up a few hours later. The land of the midnight sun is no longer that and darkness begins to take hold again. The moon was a poignant highlight in the sky this night as we looked across the desolate arctic landscape.

Photographic details: Being so dark out I had to use a slow shutter speed of 1/30th of a second. The expanse of this landscape called for a wide angle lens, making the slow shutter speed easier to handle as a tripod was out of the question standing above the vibrating engine room of the ship.

1/30s f/5.6 ISO200 35mm

[button size="large" link="" linkTarget="_blank" color="blue"]Order Print through Smugmug[/button]

Fata Morgana by moonlight


Outside Iqaluit, Canadian Arctic

If you look at the horizon you will see what looks like a band of cliffs or land, made of the same texture the sea ice is made of. This is actually the flat ocean but something is distorting it. This is a photograph of the most mysterious optical illusions most commonly observed in the Arctic. Named after the sorceress Morgan Le Fay of merlin lore this phenomenon has been attributed to the flying Dutchman, UFOs, faeries and other unusual things. It’s no surprised, land seems to rise out of the ocean from nothing only to start jiggling and dancing to and fro like a mushroom made of jelly, it’s very entertaining to watch newcomers to the arctic try and process what they are seeing.

This is simply an optical effect created by an inverse mirage. With a layer of cool air by the sea surrounded by a warmer atmosphere, this threshold between cool and warm air bends the light in such a way that even things beyond the curvature of the earth can be seen, causing the seascape to bend into the sky

Photographic Details: This was taken on a ship with a telephoto lens, therefore a tripod was out of the question given that we were moving. I shot this hand held holding my breath at at 1/80 sec, f5.6 ISO 1600 Canon EOS 5D at 400mm, a feat not easily done but slowly mastered with practice. I always surprise myself when I manage “illegally” shooting such slow shutter speeds with long lenses, practice makes perfect! If at first you get a few blurry photos, keep trying, all it takes is one good one and your work will be worth it!

If you like this, please do me a favor and share!