The very thin crescent waxing moon sets just after sunset, but the thin waning moon rises before dawn. I don’t have as many shots, since I have to drive for a while before I have a view. On February 21st, I drove to where I had a view … but a thin cloud layer made the moon hard to focus on … and hard to pick out of the haze. (It’s at the top in the middle) I used binoculars to spot the moon as it rose above the Cascades and Puget Sound. Just lucky with the shipping traffic.
This was October 29th, the moon at about 13.3%. I went out to the county airport to get a clear view to the SW and lucked out with the moon setting over the small patch of the Olympic Mountains visible from that location.
Camera: Nikon D-850 with 80-400mm lens set at 400mm.
This is the ferry Kennewick leaving Port Townsend on its last trip of the day to Coupeville on Sunday May 5th. I was across the bay at Fort Flagler State Park, to try and get a photo of the very new moon. (see below) There is a tiny bit of jet contrail above the hill. Just after this, I spotted (with my binoculars) a much higher contrail that was glowing red in the sunset. I couldn’t find it with the camera, though. And it would have just been a red smudge. But it was very cool looking.
I couldn’t see the moon without using the binoculars, either. This image was right after I first spotted it … about 9 PM (it set at behind the trees at 9:25 or so). It was 8.6% waxing at this point. It needs to get to be 11% or so before you have much chance to spot it with your naked eyes.
Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my cable release – remote. So I used the timer … but that still left me with mirror bounce. With the cable release, I can use the mirror up mode and eliminate the bounce. There were some high clouds … that’s the few horizontal streaks you can see.
Both images are with my Nikon D850 and 80-400mm with the zoom set at 400mm. With the moon shot, I added a Nikon 2x teleconverter… and still cropped a bunch to eliminate all the extraneous sky.
This shot was March 20th at 7:18 PM from Fort Worden in Port Townsend, WA. I used a 300mm lens with a 2x teleconverter on a tripod with a shutter release.
I can’t decide if I like the B&W or the color better. The reflection of the sunset in the windows on the houses on Whidbey Island is nice and shows up a little better in the color. But the B&W seems sharper and less hazy. The adjustments were made in Lightroom and the B&W conversion was made of the final color image in Silver Effects Pro 2.
Camera: Nikon D850
Lens: Nikkor 300mm PF with 2x teleconverter
ISO: 100 1/25sec f/8 (wide open with the 2x doubling the effective aperture)
This is a new moon at 7.3% (a full moon being 100%). I was standing out in the snow trying to catch this image for almost an hour. I couldn’t see the moon with my naked eye. I used binoculars and searched (and searched). It was also too faint to focus on through the viewfinder. (This image is cropped pretty heavily.) I was just giving up when I finally spotted the thin sliver.
I have tried whenever I could to get photos of the new moon setting. This is the newest I have been able to get (so far). I encourage you photographers out there to try to capture the new moon. It’s a fun challenge. There are several good astronomy apps out there (I use Moon Seeker) … they can really help you locate where the moon is … or plan where it’s going to be. Of course, you also need clear skies.
I was using a tripod and cable release … and used mirror lock up mode to minimize camera shake. That helps get you detail on the moon’s face … (not that there is any to see here).
This was the moonset on October 10, 2018 at 7:26PM … 12.8% waxing. I’m really glad that there wasn’t a baseball playoff game on or I might not have noticed the moon out my window. As it was, I had to hurry and get my tripod set up and the right lens on the camera. I was hurrying to get the focus set (and I had some issues with camera bounce)… so didn’t even notice the luminescent clouds above the moon. They were only there for a a couple minutes. The first such photo I have been able to take. I’m happy.
This was 14 July 2018 at about 9:40PM. I used a tripod to keep the trees and the surface of the moon both in focus at f/6.3 without bumping up the ISO too high. The sunset was just fading and the range of pastels was very nice.