Just shirkin’

Some activities, I can only tackle for so long before I have to take a break, and that may not be very long at all. Up until a month ago, I might have said this included, “Standing in a lake waiting for a neurotic baby bird,” (though that’s probably more specific than I would have been,) yet we see how that worked out, so maybe I should buckle down more. But then we wouldn’t have these.

It was still my ‘last night’ even though it was early this morning when I’d had enough of editing for a bit and stepped outside. The moon was just rising, so I made a session out of it – not very long, and I think this is the first moon I’ve shot since the eclipse. No, wait, that’s not true – it’s the first I’ve shot since the neurotic baby bird. Anyway:

last quarter/waning crescent moon
Nope, not the right time to catch sunrise/sunset on Tycho, which I probably should seek therapy about – Tycho is that crater down a little too far from the terminator towards the bottom, with the deep shadow that denotes high, sharp crater walls. It’s not very big really, and only seems prominent because of the ejecta rays visible in near-full phases. Still, the overall detail of the moon is nice, and the color indicative of the rising humidity that has made it overcast this morning. And, I did catch the last vestiges of sunlight on the central peaks of Purbach and Regiomantus craters, so I can feel accomplished about that (which someone needs to send me a little gold star sticker over, thank you very much.) To illustrate:

sunset on Purbach and Regiomantus craters on the moon
This is the kind of conditions that I try for at times, because it’s almost not clear that there is still light hitting those central peaks – I know with my monitor, it can disappear with a slight change in viewing angle. But the drastic overexposure that I took immediately before shows it a bit better:

sunset on Purbach and Regiomantus craters on the moon more visible in overexposure
full-frame shot of moon scaled to viewfinder sizeIt was this frame that made me go back and look at the ‘properly’ exposed version; I’d thought I was seeing a few different central peaks in the viewfinder, but it turned out to be just the mostly-flat floors of a couple different craters, including those towards upper left. Even with the 2x teleconverter, the details of the moon are small, and I struggle to pin down the sharpest focus in the viewfinder, because autofocus is too imprecise. But these were so dim that there’s no way I was spotting those peaks – the image at right is pretty much what I was seeing, or at least it is if you have roughly the same monitor size and resolution as I do, which is unlikely, but what do you want from me?

I have the drastic overexposure because I was playing around with another subject while I was out there, which required a much higher ISO to capture in a short-enough shutter speed before it moved again.

eastern cottontail Sylvilagus floridanus exposed by streetlight
The rabbits – specifically the eastern cottontails (Sylvilagus floridanus,) have been constant visitors to the yard as soon as it’s dark enough, and they’re so used to me being out there now that they only scamper off if I’m moving too quick, too close, or making too much noise, which is rare. This one was in the neighbor’s yard instead, about six meters off, well aware of my shenanigans with the camera and tripod – it was wary of me, though the movement that I was trying to thwart was not of it fleeing, but putting its head down to snag more clover. The light was from the streetlamp, closer than I’d prefer really (I’d rather have it dark in the yard,) but the catchlight in the eyes is from the neighbor’s porch light. Not too shabby for, you know, ambient light at two AM.

Anyway, back to the grind.