Well, I finally got my shot. For awhile there, I thought it just wasn't meant to be.
Attempt #1 was at my parents' farm with the rising moon, only to have my battery die just as I framed the perfect shot.
Attempt #2 was back at my parents' place with a fully charged battery. I made the mistake of deciding to shoot in raw for the first time, later realizing that I have no way to get pictures off my camera. Apparently you need a plug-in to read the .NEF files in Photoshop which also requires an upgrade to CS5. If anyone out there can tell me I'm wrong about that, please do. Upgrading is not an option at this time.
Attempt #3 was in my front yard just as the moon was setting behind my neighbor's farm. I just didn't have enough time to set up my camera. Plus, I don't really know how to optimally set it up anyway. I got the best shots in that I could before the moon disappeared, and covered all my sins with texture. The results weren't great, but it does have sort of a Halloween-ish feel to it:
Attempt # 4 was a bit more planned out. I did some research on the web, determined roughly what manual settings would work best and set my alarm for 4:00 in the morning so I would have plenty of time to set up. Pulled my battery out of the camera to recharge it while I wrote my morning pages (something I have done daily for years), and played around on the interwebs.
After obsessively compulsively checking the position of the moon every 15 minutes, I decided it was time. So, I grabbed my camera and went to the charger.
The battery was not on the charger.
The battery was not in my camera.
I had no idea where my battery was and the sun was rising with enthusiasm.
No couch cushion or bed covering was left unturned as I ran around the house like a mad woman alternately coaching myself to calm down, berating myself for being such a scatter brain, and offering up desperate prayers. Please God...show me where my battery is!
After at least fifteen minutes of this, I finally found it.
It was in my home office floor about three feet from the charger. The only thing I can figure is that in my 4:00 a.m. pre-caffeine stupor I must have walked into to the office and dropped the battery on the floor. Then two hours and several cups of coffee later, in my over-caffeinated panic state, I failed to notice it was in plain view all along. Luckily, it didn't really need charging.
This could be the early stages of "old timers" disease, or I've fallen under the spell of the full moon. Lunatic seems to be the appropriate term here.
Nevertheless, I got some great shots and learned a good deal about the manual settings on my camera, etc...
In the interest of full disclosure, I will make a confession here. By the time the moon had set as far down on the horizon as shown in Attempt #3, the sky was much brighter than it had been the day before. I caught the moon as it set, but there was little detail of the surface still visible from here on earth.
So, I did a little Photoshop cheating and took one of my more detailed captures of the moon in the darker sky and put it where I wanted it, using the multiply blend mode to create the right effect. I did more adjusting after that, and I never write down or remember my "recipes." I really should do that. The healing brush tool was wonderful for getting rid of pesky power lines in the horizon.
Oscar Wilde said, "No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist." That is one of the things I love best about the combination of photos, textures, and manipulating images through Photoshop. It helps me see what I want to see, or what I saw in my mind's eye.
Still, I struggle with feelings of not being authentic or talented enough to just take a good picture and have it stand on its own. I'm not alone in this as I've read a good many blogs where photo artists grapple with concerns over talent vs. technology.
In the end, all I see is art. It makes me happy.
I like happy.
Updated to add the featured image was linked up to the 52 Photos Project on 10/5/2011.