Full Moon Through Minneapolis

Full Moon Through Minneapolis

The moon threaded the Minneapolis skyline Tuesday night. After I captured yesterday’s picture, I went down to the sculpture garden to catch this image. Here’s the problem: I need better mittens. I was so cold that by the time I got to this location, my hands were so cold that I didn’t want to get the tripod out and set up outside. So I put the Image Stabilized Nikon 70-300mm telephoto on the camera and hand-held the camera out the window. With the aperture wide open I still had to get the exposure time down to at least a tenth, so I cranked the ISO up. Thus the noisy image. I might be able to fix some of it in Photoshop, but one of my goals for Mitchster.com is to only work in Lightroom.

Shooting the full moon this month was inspired by something that happened at my alma mater, The Prairie School in Racine Wisconsin. Sophomores Connor Leipold, Tim Pastika and Kyle Simpson discovered an asteroid. You can read about it here: Prairie students discover an asteroid. They were using technology provided from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., which is also the alma mater of the science teacher, Andrew Vanden Heuvel. I saw a PBS special about students using remote telescopes. Check it out, according to the website, students can use these remote telescopes for free. If you know anyone who has done this, let me know.

That PBS show also talked about “street astronomy” — groups of astronomers build inexpensive large telescopes and take them to the streets. They invite passers-by to look at the heavens. Pretty cool. Does anyone do this? Please comment! As a photographer, that much glass makes me, well, excited.

A little something fun for you: Moon Phase Gadget – Not my picture, this image updates to show the current moon phase. Cool, huh?


8 replies
  1. Rob
    Rob says:

    Hand-held telephoto? Wow, impressive! Trouble with winter it hurts your hands.

    My neighbor has a telescope he sets up on his deck. I popped over a couple times to view Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Cool to see the tiny moons of Jupiter and rings of Saturn.

  2. Strangetastes
    Strangetastes says:

    High ISO or not, it looks like you were using good glass. I’m not familiar with Nikon stuff, though.

    There is a fairly inexpensive gizmo that is perfect for these circumstances, a camera mount and ball head with a clamp you fasten on your car window. I use a Trek-Tech WindowMount Plus, which I got from B&H. Great for cold or wet weather, or just plain being lazy.

  3. Brian
    Brian says:

    a night photo with no tripod – amazing clarity, i think… the lights always trail when i try that. it’s been cold to me while out taking pics at night – and the temp is only in the upper 20s… i can’t imagine what it’s like there… =)


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