From Super Moon to Spooky Moon

My previous post featured the last Super Moon of 2019, as it rose above a lakeside home at the Lake of the Ozarks (MO).  As I mentioned in that post, the day was cloudy and rainy until a short time before moonrise, when the sky cleared. But after the moon rose higher in the sky, clouds began to move across the face of the moon, creating a spooky scenario.

The Super Moon before the clouds invaded:

April 2019 Super Moon

Once the clouds began to appear, a spectacular night show began:

March 2019 Super Moon

March 2019 Super Moon

March 2019 Super Moon

March 2019 Super Moon

March 2019 Super Moon

March 2019 Super Moon

These are all good examples of what I “preach” whenever I’m teaching a landscape or astrophotography class … that “once the activity appears to be over, hang around for a little longer to see if something else develops”.  Sure will miss the Super Moons … until they again visit us in 2020!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens, with IS “Off” (and a 1.4x TC used on the last photos)
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Wemberley gimbal head
  • ISO 250 and ISO 500
  • Aperture f/8, f/16 and f/32
  • Shutter 1/350 sec. to 2 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2019, Astrophotography, Blog, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , ,
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Final Super Moon of 2019

During last week’s final Super Moon of the year, I was at the Lake of the Ozarks to photograph this event. My previous attempt at this location was unsuccessful, due to heavy clouds. This final attempt was also not looking real good, early in the day. But after some brief showers, the clouds began breaking up about an hour before moonrise!

Setting my tripod up on a floating deck, I positioned the camera towards where the moon should be rising. Fortunately, both the sky conditions and my “best guess” at the location were both good … here are a few images of the Super Moon I captured:

April 2019 Super Moon

April 2019 Super Moon

April 2019 Super Moon

Some of the above images are a bit “soft”.  Shooting with a super telephoto lens, at slow shutter speeds, and set up on a floating dock, created some challenges! Next time, I’ll have to experiment with my techniques.

And when the moon had cleared the background hill and trees, a beautiful Super Moon was sitting there in front of me:

April 2019 Super Moon

Being the last Super Moon of 2019, it will be a while before another opportunity comes up like this.  But I’ll be ready.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens, with IS “Off” (and a 1.4x TC used on the bottom photo)
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Wemberley gimbal head
  • ISO 400 and ISO 250 (bottom photo)
  • Aperture f/8 and f/32 (bottom photo)
  • Shutter 1/10 sec. to 1/e sec.

 

 

 

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Fun Friday: Time to Nest

For the past few days, I have been at the Lake of the Ozarks (MO).  My main photographic objective this trip was to capture the last Super Moon of 2019, over the lake.  At the last minute, the weather cooperated and I was able to catch the large globe rising above the lake … I’ll feature some of those images in another post.  Today’s “Fun Friday” post features a Bald Eagle that is currently nesting around the lake.

This large nest has been used for several years and is located a short distance from the lake, and in a rather woodsy area.  It was quite difficult to shoot through the woody vegetation, and this image required quite a bit of “limb removal” in Photoshop, so I’m not sure how long I can follow/photograph this nest. Once the tree leaves begin growing, it may not be accessible for photography … but I’m keeping my fingers crossed!!!

This adult Bald Eagle is currently incubating eggs:

Nesting Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle nesting

I hope to edit the Super Moon images over the weekend and have them posted early next week!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 100-400mm, f/4.5 – f/5.6 IS lens, shot at 400mm
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/8
  • Shutter 1/500 sec.
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Fun Friday: Food Fight on the Prairie

Today’s “Fun Friday” post comes from a recent photo trip to Shawnee Trails Conservation Area, located in southwestern Missouri. During the winters, I frequently visit this Missouri Conservation Area to photograph wintering Short-eared Owls. On my last trip there, I was set up and waiting for the owl activity to begin, when I saw several Norther Harrier hawks flying low over the prairies, watching for field mice and voles.

At one point, I observed one harrier chasing another one, high overhead. I turned my camera towards this pair of hawks and started photographing. As I later edited these images, I quickly saw what the activity was about … one of the hawks had a vole and the second hawk was trying to pirate it from the first, causing the vole to be dropped from his talons:

Northern Harrier Hawks

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens + Canon 1.4x TC
  • Bogen 3221 tripod with Wemberly gimbal head
  • ISO 1600
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/1250 sec.

 

 

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Thinking in the Future

Been busy looking at a long term photo schedule. After little hesitation, I decided I needed to go back next winter to Florida … catch some rays and also some beautiful birds, like this Great Egret I captured during my last visit to the Venice Rookery:

Great Egret landing

And yes, the Venice Rookery is on my list for 2020!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod with Wemberly gimbal head
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/4
  • Shutter 1/8000 sec.

 

 

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Old Swinging Bridge

Today’s post was captured back in December, while exploring the area around the Lake of the Ozarks. This “old swinging bridge” was located in a very rural area of the lake. Although this is not a true nature photograph, I really love the design of this old bridge … wonder what it would look like in fall colors!

Swinging Bridge

Swinging Bridge

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 28-135mm, f/3.5 – f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 800
  • Aperture f/16
  • Shutter 1/250 sec. and 1/90 sec.

 

 

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Night Life at the Lake

Here is a recent night scene I shot at the Lake of the Ozarks (Missouri).  This scene was part of the many images I captured during the February Total Lunar Eclipse … other images to follow:

Beautiful night over the Lake of the Ozarks

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 28-135mm, f/3.5 – f/5.6 IS lens
  • Bogen 3221 Tripod, with ballhead
  • ISO 3200
  • Aperture f/3.5 (?)
  • Shutter 4 seconds

 

 

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Snowscape at the Lake

Today’s post features some snowy landscape images I captured at the Lake of the Ozarks (MO) last week. I was intent on capturing the “Super Snow Moon”, but instead only got the snow … with a bit of sleet!

From my friend Bobbie’s lake house, this was the beauty seen when looking over the lake:

Snow at the Lake

Snow at the Lake

Did you notice the Great Blue Heron in the previous image? I posted some nice captures of him in an earlier blog post (if you missed it, you can check it out at here:  http://blog.showmenaturephotography.com/22278/blog/ridin-the-storm-out/)

Snow at the Lake

Snow at the Lake

Coming up … some captures of the January 20 total lunar eclipse, shot from this same location.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 28-135mm, f/3.5 – f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/16
  • Shutter 1/15 sec. to 1/90 sec.

 

 

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“Ridin’ The Storm Out”

Today’s post comes from this past week, from the Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri.  I had traveled to the lake to shoot the “Super Snow Moon” as it rose over the Lake.  I had a wonderful view and location all ready for the big event. But as so often happens, Mother Nature decided to throw me a curve ball … er, a snow ball! With snow and sleet, and cloud-filled skies, no Snow Moon was to be captured that evening!  But I did get a chance to shoot a rather patient Great Blue Heron along the lake’s edge:

Great Blue Heron in Snowstorm

Great Blue Heron in snowstorm

Soon, I will be sharing a few images I captured at the lake of the snowy landscape.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 100-400mm, f/4.5 – f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 800
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/1000 sec. (top photo) and 1/800 sec. (bottom photo)

 

 

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2019 Short-eared Owls

Well, I’m back! For those that have wondered about my absence, let me just say that I’ve been through some interesting times lately. I received an email from a “hacker”, informing me that my website had been hacked and I was being extorted for $$. Well, taking this seriously, I decided to not post anything while I thoroughly checked things out. I am happy to report that my computers have been thoroughly checked out and any potential malware removed. I have also taken some additional precautions with my website, adding more security measures there. So, I should be good to go again!

Today’s post features some images I captured about 3 weeks ago, at Shawnee Trails Conservation Area in southwest Missouri. When we have a really cold winter, I can usually find some Short-eared Owls here, that have migrated south for the winter. Here are a few of my favorites:

Short-eared Owl

Short-eared Owl

Short-eared Owl

Short-eared Owl

Short-eared Owl

As time allows, I hope to make another trip for more owl images.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens + Canon 1.4x TC
  • Bogen 3021 tripod with Wemberly gimbal head
  • ISO variable
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter variable

 

 

 

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