Thursday, February 17, 2011

Howling at the moon

I have been trying to carry my camera with me every day.  I usually forget about it and wonder why the heck my purse is so heavy.  I know that most days I won't find the time or mental energy to use it, but today was different.  I was waiting for my car pool buddy to show up and it had just begun raining.  Caught this picture just before the rain obliterated the pattern on the rocks.

There is something very pleasing to my eye with the roundness of the rocks and the random pattern they made just laying there.

Next I played around with taking pictures through the windshield on the drive home.  That didn't generate anything interesting though.

After dinner I started to head downstairs (we have a daylight basement) and looked out into the front courtyard and noticed an almost full moon framed by the maple tree out front.  (It's in front of the skimmia.)  I rushed and got the camera and tried a few shots only to discover that to get things to show up as I wished, I needed to shoot in shutter priority and slow down the shutter speed.  Way down.  Which required the tripod. 

After almost knocking out my front teeth in my rush to get the tripod out of it's box, I got the camera set up in the courtyard and managed to get some pictures before the moon was totally obscured by the rapidly moving clouds. 

As I stood there waiting for the moon to reappear I looked around for anything else that might be interesting enough for a picture and turned and noticed our huge sweet gum that grows at the top of the stairs to the backyard.  Years ago when Bob put in the landscaping lights, he put an uplight on this tree which makes it a somewhat creepy if spectacular focal point in the courtyard at night.  I played with different shutter speeds for different effects.

Once I downloaded the pictures to my laptop I soon discovered that Microsoft Office Picture Manager is a cool little tool that packs a wallop for its price. (free)  It not only lets me resize photos for the web, but it's got this fantastic low tech cropping tool that allows you to make the photos of the tree even more interesting.

Here's the original shot.

Here are two cropped shots.

At the same time as I was trying to select/resize these photos and write this post, I was making chocolate chip cookies to take to work tomorrow.  They turned out beautifully in spite of my distraction.  The good news is that I only burnt one batch!.

The lesson I learned today is this.  Even though I didn't really use the camera that I had lugged in my purse all day as I traipsed back and forth between buildings on our corporate campus, I believe that the fact that I had taken it out to shoot the photo of the rocks caused me to be more aware of its existence today.  When I saw the moon I thought of the camera and picked it up and used it.  Well worth the extra weight in my purse.


  1. Lovely moon photos!!!
    And man, have we been wishing for some really good chewy chocolate chip cookies. Man!

  2. I agree! Well worth the "weight".

    And I love how the rocks look like speckled eggs. The moon pictures that hatched are mysterious and lovely.

    Thank you also for the recipe for the cookies. Kate made some before she left and they were incredible. This is an interesting recipe and we learned a lot about cookie making with it.

    Can't wait to see you in Asheville! We've got a lot of lovely things planned!

  3. Hi and how are you? The photos are gorgeous. So, you're going to Asheville - that's awesome. I am hoping to, I just don't know if I can yet.