I received an interesting e-mail from crazy woman Robin… you know, “the other Robin”, one of our most recent members who I met through Capture Dallas. I can tell you that Robin is an excellent photographer, has posted some unique shots on Capture Dallas, is driven to excel and is… a bit crazy! But then again, she did join the club, and it took no coercion on my part to get her to do so!
This is the e-mail that I got after posting the Super Moon…
” I had pretty much the same experience. I took a compass to White Rock Lake, tried most of the parking lots until I found one where there was something interesting in the foreground where the moon would come up, set up with the tripod and remote release, and waited.
A couple of older men trickled in with their tripods, too, and we waited. Eventually, about 8:20, one of the men called his wife and asked her to check the back page of the newspaper – he still takes the paper – and sure enough it was supposed to have come up at 7:58. While he was talking I spotted it, about five degrees above the horizon and barely noticeable.
I shot a few frames, and decided to go home and wait in my drive, but as I was going around the lake I saw a few opportunities to get clearer shots with a tree in the frame, so I pulled off on the rich people’s manicured shoulder and shot hand-held. By this time I had installed the doubler, so I was shooting 600mm hand held, thank goodness for image stabilization.
The one I sent you was the best of the lot. And that’s a tree, not a cloud.”
This was then followed up by an e-mail to me about a moon photo that someone had posted to Capture Dallas…
“Have you seen the moon shot posted by C. F.? Absolutely tack sharp, taken by the same camera I have, 1/500 second at f10 and ISO 100, only 200mm, so he cropped it a LOT, and it’s so totally much more sharp than mine. I just don’t know how he got that shot with those settings. He should have gotten a black frame. And, he didn’t get it in Photoshop, I ‘shopped mine as much as possible.
I’m beginning to wonder if there’s something wrong with my camera. I so often don’t get the sharpness others get, with me being really careful of settings. Or, maybe he was using a lens with one of those HUGE front-ends, collecting far more light than I can. Or maybe I just don’t know what I’m doing. Your expert comments would be so welcome.”
Of course that e-mail sent me scurrying to see what she was talking about. Now, I am by no means an expert and will never, ever profess to be so. I love photography and am trying to learn to do better one day and one image at a time. After checking out C.F.’s image, which was excellent, I sent her this e-mail in return…
“Just checked it out and it is excellent! He did crop it a lot but in looking at the settings and knowing that yours was hand held, and you used a slower shutterspeed at extreme magnification of 600mm with a much higher ISO… I think that could account for the difference. A lot too depends on the quality of the lens being used. Now the test would be to put your camera on a tripod and use his settings in manual and then reshoot the moon and see how different it might look. The moon is actually very bright and our camera is tricked into thinking it is not, due to all the dark sky and then tries to compensate for that. I think manual is the only way to go. I actually had to get my “destructions” out to be sure I was setting it correctly in manual before I went out.”
I have a 2x teleconverter but never use it as it always seems to degrade my image, and I certainly don’t need any help to do that!
And all lenses are not created equal! That’s why you can buy a particular lens for several hundred dollars and the same focal length lens for thousands of dollars. The quality of the lens will effect the quality of the final image. But then again, unless you are using such a lens to make a living, there is little sense in spending $5,000-10,000 on the latest and greatest. Yes, photography can be a money pit.
Well, the e-mails did not end there.
Crazy Woman Robin responds…
“Thanks for all your thoughts. I usually do aperture-priority, and I think that’s what I was doing with those hand-held shots. I wouldn’t have selected 1/50th manually. The lens should be rock-solid, it’s a full-format, considered pro-quality. The doubler should be, too. They’re both Tamron SP, their top shelf.
Moon comes up later tonight. I’m hoping for a do-over in the drive (faces ESE) and see what I get. Another thing I noticed is that his was at almost 11:00, so much less atmosphere to shoot through. Less distortion that time of night, but how did he get that beautiful yellow cast, usually overhead is much more monochrome.
If I get something I’ll let you know. If not, I’ll slither back under my point-n-shoot rock. Again, thanks so much.”
OK… NOW YOU HAVE TO READ HER LAST LINE:
“Oh, funny, when I hit ‘send’ and spell check kicked in, it wanted my lens to be a Tampon.”
And my response was: “OMG!!! LMAO!!! You gave me all of that information just to find out the problem was that you were shooting with a tampon!!!! Ooooooooo Robin… you are a CRAZY WOMAN!!!!!!!!!!”
Thank you Robin for letting me share this little ditty with the crazies! We are all on a quest for the best image we can get and I absolutely love the comical spin you put on it all!
I will direct you to the image she was referring to on Capture Dallas and then post her image. And what I thought were clouds in the sky around the moon was actually a tree!
Thanks Chuck for your great image to give the crazy women some food for thought, but I’m about certain that poor Robin will never be the same! If you have any words of wisdom, I’m sure she would love to hear it.
Here is Chuck’s image:
And here is Robin’s Super Moon!
Thanks Robin! So great having you in the club and looking forward to all the crazies meeting you!