Last Sunday wasn’t a full moon night, but it was close. I found myself on Treasure Island at sunset, viewing the rising moon above the new bridge. The old bridge, with a gap where a span’s been removed, lay behind. I wasn’t the only one who was fascinated by the sight; there were perhaps half a dozen photographers out there, mostly with fine cameras, large lenses, and tripods.
My camera is my trusty Nikon Coolpix. It lives in my pocket or my purse. But whatever the camera, it was hard to go wrong on such an exquisite evening.
In fact, in some ways it’s easier to get a moon shot on a not-quite-full moon night. It’s a little less overwhelming for the camera.
The next night was the Supermoon – and the clouds rolled in to San Francisco. But still, I got a shot from nearby Twin Peaks.
I’d hoped to get one behind Sutro Tower, but the alignments didn’t work out. Another night, another time.
The moon shines bright, which isn’t so usual in San Francisco. Very often, we have fog instead. It’s moody and wonderful but doesn’t give a clear look at the moon. Tonight’s clear (if you’re still up, take a look!)
I couldn’t help pulling out my camera. It’s a little Canon point-and-shoot, maybe just a notch above an iPhone in ability, and it doesn’t much like low light conditions. In fact, my late lamented Nikon Coolpix did a better job with moon pictures. Like this one, from April 2010.
I even learned to get full-moon pictures with that (point it at the moon, make sure there’s nothing else in the field, and – for some reason – set it to flash).
This camera doesn’t do it. Here’s what I got tonight.
It was the more galling because binoculars that show the moon beautifully, down to the Mare Imbrium and the Crater Copernicus. So it was frustrating not to even get the markings one sees with the naked eye.
Until I tried taking a photograph through the binoculars. I lined up the camera lens and the eyepiece (which matched pretty well in size), focused and clicked. Here it is – not a sharp brilliant shot like those on Flickr, but probably the best moon picture I’ve gotten so far. I’m pleased. I think it’s okay for a PAS camera without an actual telephoto lens.