*********Challenge 162- The Moon in the Landscape ***********

Started Feb 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
Bob in Baltimore
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RESULTS PART II *********Challenge 162- The Moon in the Landscape ***********
In reply to Bob in Baltimore, Mar 5, 2013

The Moon in the Landscape: Results Part II (The Top 5 & the Winner)

Now to the top 5 and the winner.

#5 When the second submission, this image by k5mitch, came in, I knew that I was going to have to relent on my preference for not blowing out the Moon. What great composition Beaverly Beach Oregonhas! The subtly lit bridge frames the Moon under its arch, while wispy clouds (and many stars!) are seen above. With a short focal length and a 30 second exposure, the stars do not seem obviously streaked and the Moon’s blur is masked by the overexposure. K5mitch … you didn’t provide the date, and it is driving me nuts trying to identify the stars and planets in the shot. My quibble with this one is the fact that the Moon glint is also blown out. I would have thought that to be within range.

#4 Despite the fact that his sky is upside down to this Northern Hemisphere chauvinist, I really like the mood here. ZorSy's The Old Bar Beach is terrific! The glowing Moon in the middle left highlights the dunes and the beach, while the image fades into darkness on the far side. I guess the blown-out Moon (again!) would be either disturbing or intriguing if I could see its upside down features. The only distraction is the LED headlights. While I like the pathway on the beach, I find the lamp streak itself to be distracting. But overall, and excellent technical and artistic job.



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And now it gets really difficult to choose. Each of the final 3 is near perfection in terms of composition and meeting the technical challenges. Each has a different mood and starkly different coloring. Each speaks to me in a different way. But, I bit the bullet, and here are my choices. It is interesting, perhaps, that the last choice (of the top 10) was the first image submitted. And the 1stchoice turns out to be the last image submitted.

#3 Here is a different kind of a challenge … capturing the Moon lit by “Earthshine”. jkjond has done this nicely, and he tells us how he did it. In Moonrise with Venus, Morecambe Bay, NW England he used a 30 second exposure for the bay lights and horizon, and a 10 second for the Moon. Excellent PS work to blend them. I know that it wasn’t easy. The composition is strong, with the horizontal alignment of Venus and the Moon upheld by the layered red of the Sunset sky and the undulating horizon. And then traces of the water illuminated by the Moon, the sky, and some local lights.

#2 Moonrise Over the Bay by public-af-lobster is perhaps the most realistic of all of the images. (I captured similar colors over the less appealing Potomac River at this past full Moon.) But she (or he) has the drama of Alcatraz Island lurking in the foreground, the still sunlit landscape beyond it, sailboats in the nearer foreground and sea gulls in the air. The strong ambient light allowed him (or her) to shoot at 1/640 second so we see the birds frozen in flight. The Moon appears dusky and indistinct, as it does in these conditions. The pattern of the birds leads from the Moon to Alcatraz, or vice versa. Would I change anything? Oh, it would be nice if the shot had been taken 4 or 5 minutes earlier when it would have been tighter with the island. But it would have been less distinct, and would we have equally good birds and sailboats? Nope, this is close to perfection!

#1 And the winner is DavidRaso with an untitled image of the Moon peering thru wispy clouds and silhouetted conifers. Much of the image is empty space, or nearly so. The light fades away from right to left, and from the middle to the top and bottom. But there is a shadowy image of bare branches almost to the left edge. It is all about the Moon! The landscape is barely there. He has pushed the image to its limits and you see traces of quantization noise in the halo about the Moon. I ordinarily don’t like this, but in this case it works. Partly because it was the necessary compromise to make the shot. (I doubt if HDR would have worked do to the inevitable motion of the branches, not to mention the motion of the Moon.

Sadly, David did not provide any EXIF data or description of where the shot was made, or how it was made. So, David, as you pick up the next challenge, please shares with us what you did.

Thank you all for superb submissions. David, the ball is in your court!



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Bob in Baltimore

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