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January 1st, 2010 - A Blue Moon & The Eternal Fires of Hiawatha

Here we are at the end of the decade, with a New Year's Blue Moon that comes by only once every 19 years. So even though it was below zero outside, I felt I had to take advantage of it.

There is so much 'light pollution' from the sodium-vapor railway lights, streetlights, traffic, and incidental lighting at night here that I wasn't sure where to set my white balance. I ended up with it mostly on 'incandescent', though I tried a few on 'shade'.
On the shot above, I did a - 2 EV pre-flash followed by a 30 second exposure.
I blew out the moon in every shot I took. Maybe a polarizer would have helped, I don't think I've ever tried that with the moon.
By the end of an hour I was having trouble with my hands, nose, camera and flash controls, and finally my battery, so I got what I got.

This the same shot off of the same tripod. (A very cold, heavy metal tripod, I might add. Cold metal which I could feel seeping into my shoulder, even through my thick jacket as I carried it.
I gotta put some foam on the legs or something.) Anyway, same shot with no flash and something like 20 seconds at f8. That stupid flash needs a button you can actually turn off when it's 10 below without taking your gloves off. Curse, curse. Lots of stars out though.

On the other hand, the artificial lighting was doing some BIZARRE stuff to the light off of the snow and ice on the weir going under the Hiawatha Avenue tunnel.
It looked like Dante's last steps, especially when I got down under the road.

Steam was coming off of what little open water there was in the weir and the tunnel looked normal, but the light at the end was not so comforting. I checked out the ice carefully (by running across it as fast as I could in Sorels...
Kidding, it was refreeze but pretty darn thick) and tried some exposures with me holding a flashlight down at the other end but the time was so long I'm barely a phantom photon.

This one is kind of interesting. I got the idea to focus with the zoom lens all the way wide-angle, then set the self-timer and after it tripped, have the flash go off and s-l-o-w-l-y zoom the lens all the way out as it was exposing, in theory ending when the shutter tripped, 20 seconds later. It was pretty close. Can't believe I didn't shake the camera more. Fun experiment.

Back in our neighborhood, the cross-lighting from all the light pollution weirdness was bordering on psychedelic. Nice ski tracks all up and down the creek though. Looked like some opossum tracks further down the trail too, I could see their 'tail drag'.

Hey, it's a New Decade! New Game! New Year!!! Enjoy it everyone.
Above all, think a lot, and talk to people about the stuff you think about.

- T.

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