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Thread: Moonrise over the Dentelles de Montmirail

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Moonrise over the Dentelles de Montmirail

    My humble contribution to the worldwide library of moonrise images, with deference and respect, of course, to Mr Adams' masterpiece.

    This is one from my recent holiday/vacation in France that I had planned months ago. I knew, from the Photographer's Ephemeris, that there was a full moon on July 3rd with moonrise at 9:06pm. And I knew pretty approximately where it would rise.

    What I forgot of course, was that although moonrise is scheduled for 9:06pm, when you're waiting for it to come up over hills that are 2000ft+, it's going to be later than the 'advertised' time.

    I had worked out my exact location about a week beforehand and I was on location and set up to go at 8:30pm. Moonrise eventually occurred at 10:22pm .... and I got to work.

    The moon was gigantic. It was as awesome as I could have wished. I hope I've captured and conveyed some of that.

    The Dentelles de Montmirail are a spectacular group of hills with chiselled ridges, needles and saw-tooth formations that lie high above the village of Gigondas.

    As always, your comments are welcomed.

    Moonrise over the Dentelles de Montmirail
    Canon 40D, EF 24-70 f2.8 L @ 34mm. ISO100. 1/8@f11 and 1/20@f11
    Last edited by Donald; 17th July 2012 at 07:57 PM.

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    Re: Moonrise over the Dentelles de Montmirail

    That could almost be 'Earth rise, seen from the moon'!

    Absolutely perfect.

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    Re: Moonrise over the Dentelles de Montmirail

    Lovely shot Donald !!!
    Yep, hills can mess up youre timing somewhat. I've arrived for dawn shots in fairly deep valleys and waited for a couple of hours for the sun to show its face above the hilltops. Good laying in bed fast asleep hours in fact :-(

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    Re: Moonrise over the Dentelles de Montmirail

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    My humble contribution
    I've gotta disagree, Donald. Not humble at all. I like the simplicity and the shape of the horizon that frames the moon.

    Did you use two exposures -- one for the moon and one for the rest of the image?

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    Re: Moonrise over the Dentelles de Montmirail

    Donald - that's a brilliant shot!

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Moonrise over the Dentelles de Montmirail

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    I like the simplicity and the shape of the horizon that frames the moon.
    Did you use two exposures -- one for the moon and one for the rest of the image?
    Thank you Mike. Yes it is two exposures that have been blended.

    Quote Originally Posted by kaneohebud View Post
    Donald - that's a brilliant shot!
    Thank you Bud. It is always very satisfying that an image that you have planned and visualised for a long time (I think it was back in March/April that I found out that there would be a full moon over these hills on July 3rd), that you capture in a location where you have never been (Google Earth and the Photographer's Ephemiris were my planning tools), works in just the way you had hoped.
    Last edited by Donald; 18th July 2012 at 12:48 PM.

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    Re: Moonrise over the Dentelles de Montmirail

    Super brilliant.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Moonrise over the Dentelles de Montmirail

    Thanks Bobo. I've never had a 'super brilliant' before!

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    Re: Moonrise over the Dentelles de Montmirail

    I think "super brilliant" translates to "plus que parfait." Which is how I'd describe it as well. And I'm impressed by your pre-planning! When you take time to envision and plan a photograph like this, I think it is reflected in the image. Theoretically this is a view you could have simply stumbled upon by chance and captured with a bit of luck, but I doubt the end result would have been as good.

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    Re: Moonrise over the Dentelles de Montmirail

    Donald,

    I don't usually critique borders (usually I try to just ignore them), but in this case I really do feel that it is taking something away from your image. I don't know if it is because it is pure white and there isn't a pure white point in the image to also draw my attention, or if the border is just too wide.

    Like everyone else says, I think you've got a phenomenal image there, but for whatever reason, my brain is just getting stuck on that border.

    I'll also qualify this with the fact that in general I'm not a huge fan of borders, so perhaps this is just a personal preference and the border is just fine and it is me that is the problem.

    - Bill

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Moonrise over the Dentelles de Montmirail

    Quote Originally Posted by bhurley View Post
    And I'm impressed by your pre-planning!
    Thank you Brad.

    Part of the planning also involved great suffering.

    Once we got to France and into our little cottage/gite (the roof of which is out of shot on the bottom right, away down at the bottom of the valley), I was going out into the vineyards both to look for other shots, but also to get the right location for this one.

    I went out one morning at about 5:30 am, in my shorts, thinking I wouldn't need any bug spray. Well....... I got totally done over by all sorts of things. I wasn't aware of it at the time, but about 2 hours later ........! I had deep red bites, orange bites, lumps. We bought out the local pharmacy and only now are the last of the wounds beginning to disappear. My legs were in a bit of a mess.

    Quote Originally Posted by ktuli View Post
    I don't usually critique borders (usually I try to just ignore them), but in this case I really do feel that it is taking something away from your image.
    Bill - I take your point.

    I got into the habit of putting this same style of border onto everything I post onto CiC and I just did it automatically on this one. It's become a sort of identity thing and maybe I don't need that. The versions that I will post up onto my own website (link below) will not have that border on them. Maybe I need to be more discriminatory.

    Thank you for your comments about the image inside the border.

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    jprzybyla's Avatar
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    Re: Moonrise over the Dentelles de Montmirail

    As always superb...nothing else needs to be said.

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    Re: Moonrise over the Dentelles de Montmirail

    Hi, Donald

    When I first glimpsed this, I thought, "He's channeled Adams", and this certainly does him great justice. Your tonal range is huge-you've touched every zone- each adding important (rather than superfluous) detail. I'm amazed your preserved so much moon detail, while retaining detail in the lowermost trees. The more I look, the more I admire. Congrats. (And I have a new desktop wallpaper )

    Kevin

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Moonrise over the Dentelles de Montmirail

    Quote Originally Posted by kdoc856 View Post
    I'm amazed your preserved so much moon detail, while retaining detail in the lowermost trees. The more I look, the more I admire. Congrats. (And I have a new desktop wallpaper )
    If you look at my Exif data printed below the image, you'll see that this is two exposures - one for the land and sky and one for the moon. It is a blend. The moon shot was overlaid on the land shot and a layer mask applied. I then painted on the mask to reveal the moon.

    The secret of this image is that the two exposures were taken some time apart.

    Because of the hills and the fact that the moon was not going to come up until later when the hills and the trees would really be starting to lose the last of the light from the setting sun, I captured the photo for the hills before the moon actually came up. Then I just had to sit and wait for the moon to arrive.

    What you see here is what I saw as I stood there. But a single shot couldn't have captured that, because the light on the hills was too far gone by that time.

    What really did surprise me was that I could get the moon at 1/20@f11. I thought I'd have to go much faster; e.g. 1/125. But 1/20 shutter speed did push it way over to the right of the histogram. I pulled back the exposure in post processing to bring up more detail.

    In the same way, the shot of the hills and the sky was pushed as far to right of the histogram as I could go and, again, the exposure has been pulled way back in post-processing. I wanted to get the exposures right so that I wouldn't have to be concerned about noise. I knew I could always pull them back when it came to processing the RAW files.

    I hope all of this rambling is useful to some folks who want to try the same sort of thing.

    The final bit about it all relates to the fact that I wasn't sure exactly where the moon would come up. As I wrote above, I knew exactly where it would be at 9:06pm, the time of Moonrise according to the Photographer's Ephemeris. But because it had to travel to the top of these mountains before I'd see it and as it did so it travels from left to right (as we look at it) as well as upwards, I couldn't be sure as to where exactly it would break over the top. So there was a bit of guesswork involved.

    I set up the shot at 8:30 pm (as I wrote above) and just hoped that it wouldn't rise into my view way to the left and out of the shot. That would have been a disaster. However, I got lucky.

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    Re: Moonrise over the Dentelles de Montmirail

    It's a beautiful image and I appreciate you posting so much detail on your methods for the rest of us to learn by. It's one of those images that truly inspires! Thank you!

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    Re: Moonrise over the Dentelles de Montmirail

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    I got into the habit of putting this same style of border onto everything I post onto CiC and I just did it automatically on this one. It's become a sort of identity thing and maybe I don't need that.
    I certainly don't think you need a certain style of border to have your photos have your identity to them... They stand out, and in the time I've been here, I can definitely identify your style. I think a lot of people here could probably pick your photos out in a line-up... with or without borders.

    - Bill

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    Re: Moonrise over the Dentelles de Montmirail

    Myself and a couple of others have been trying for a moonrise in a specific location for two years now. The moon rises only twice a year within a few degrees of our preferred path. So far clouds have made that venture impossible but we'll keep on trying. With any luck our results will be as good as yours. Good on you for hanging in there and well done Donald.

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    Re: Moonrise over the Dentelles de Montmirail

    Donald congrat on the final result. I admire your planification and will remember to check the moon and sun rise and set when on trips. I have not yet tried combining pictures together and will be soon. I started to read Ansel Adams book and as he talk of visualization your explanations seem to match:"image management and value control" to a tee. I checked your site and was immediately captivated by the images. I will be checking it again for "images without borders".

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    Plumcrak's Avatar
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    Re: Moonrise over the Dentelles de Montmirail

    Donald, what a wonderful image. I want to go on holiday with you! Border or no border, I think I could pick out your work from the magnificent quality. Can't wait to see more...

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    Re: Moonrise over the Dentelles de Montmirail

    Donald,
    Master use of light, perfect composition. Really superb!
    If you had not told, I would imagine that the picture was taken by Ansel Adams.
    Antonio.

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