I paid a second visit to Pennhurst State School & Hospital last weekend in an outing I organized to include some photographer friends. It was fun sharing the experience but a little more challenging for me. I had already photographed the scenes that called out loudest to me and now I had to dig a little deeper so as not to repeat what I had done a few months before. I found myself still attracted to several scenes with the left-over wooden chairs and institutional seating. Down in the basement, in a place called ‘Candy Land’ a small group of us practiced light-painting. ‘Candy Land Exit’ and ‘Math Studies’ are the results. I chose several frames to process and then picked my favorites to display here. Like before, I did my best to stay true to the color, light and feeling about the place.
Like many other photographers I captured this month’s full moon which occurred on Sunday August 10, 2014. I’d like to share a few things I learned with others interested in this subject.
Knowing that the moon would appear full, both the day before and the day after the full moon I took a look at the exact times. I saw that the moon would rise one hour before sunset on Saturday and took a ride out to my location. I am working on a Burlington County project titled, ‘Preserved Farmland Visions’ which pairs artists from the county with area farms. The project began in April 2014 and I have been assigned to a cranberry farm. There will be a group exhibit of the work one year from the start, in April 2015.
Going out on Saturday I figured I would scout for the following night and find my composition. What interests me most at this location, this time of year are a couple of reservoirs with dead cedar trees. The scenes can be very busy so I narrowed down the possibilities to three trees that stood taller than the rest. As the moon rose it was still light out and I was able to photograph it higher in the sky while retaining detail. The advantage was that the low, filtered sunlight cast soft light on my subjects and I was not working with a ‘high dynamic’ light range … as is the case when it is already dark when it rises. I like this image for it’s softer, more peaceful feeling.
On Sunday, the night of the full moon, I went out and assumed I would be getting a very similar composition … wrong! I underestimated how drastic the position of the rising moon would be with just one night’s difference and had to quickly adjust my composition. I should have checked the exact position with Photographer’s Ephemeris on the second night. The sun had already disappeared from the horizon and it was getting dark. In this situation it was important to capture the moon soon after it rose otherwise it would be so bright it would be impossible to capture any detail in the scene without blowing out the moon. I also needed to act fast before it disappeared behind the low clouds. This image is certainly more dramatic than the first and I am pleased there is some cloud interest.
Which image do you prefer? Let me know by clicking the ‘comment’ link right below this post.