full moon

#Supermoon over #Bellingham

It was the Supermoon on the horizon that had me rushing all over. This year’s “Supermoon” was actually one of the largest. 14% larger than the Moon when full at apogee.

The so-called Supermoon is technically a full moon when it is at perigee. Or the point closest to Earth in its orbit. On top of that, the Moon was full less than 30 minutes before it reached perigee.

First Shot – Moon Over Museum:

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - The super perigee Moon rises over the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Wash., on Sunday evening August 10, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography – The super perigee Moon rises over the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Wash., on Sunday evening August 10, 2014. If it weren’t for the power lines, this would’ve been the shot. I think they’re incredibly distracting.

Using both The Photographer’s ephemeris and Sun Surveyor by Adam Ratana. I use both apps on my smart phone. The ephemeris is used to help me find a spot during the day time to line up a foreground subject. Then I use Sun Surveyor to find the near exact spot I should be. The big advantage SS has over TPE is that it shows the real path of the Sun or Moon as it transits the sky. TPE is a good general tool and not much else.

Second Shot – Moon Over Museum:

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - The super perigee Moon rising over Bellingham, Wash., on Sunday evening August 10, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography – Although very similar to a photo I shot last year of a supermoon, I like this better because there are no distracting power lines.

My subject was the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Wash. It was built-in 1892 and is a beautiful red brick building with white trim. It was formerly the Whatcom County Courthouse, but a new courthouse was built and so the old one became a museum and local landmark.

One problem: getting a clear view of the museum and moon. Because of all the power lines, it’s difficult to get a good shot of the museum and moon in a line-free photo.

So as I set out looking, I came across a great view of the courthouse and I could see a touch of the moon. ONLY problem was all the power lines in the way. I was on a hill just east of Squalicum Harbor watching the Moon rise over the distant ridge line just behind the museum. I stay and shot some frames anyway for posterity. I like it at it shows the size of the moon, but the power lines are annoying.

Just One More:

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - The super perigee Moon rising over Bellingham, Wash., on Sunday evening August 10, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography – I like the glow from the Moon on the haze behind the museum. Adds a sense of mystery.

I then drove to the one spot I planned to shoot from. Clear shot of the museum and the moon. But it’s also very similar to another Supermoon shot from last year. But the big difference in this is that the moon rise was just before sunset. So the exposure was more workable. Plus, I imported into Lightroom which made the post-processing of the image even easier. I was able to get the Moon to look more natural against the tower of the museum.

Not like they’re actually rare events, I’m hoping on the next one to find a better spot. Perhaps the Twin Sisters would be a great shot with the Moon rising over them?

Prints of this image and many others available for purchase on my website Supermoon Over Museum.

View more of my images from the Bellingham area at Urban Scenes: Bellingham, Wash.

Which photo is your favorite? And why? Let me know in the comments below.

Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment, critique, or just ask questions.

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Paul “pablo” Conrad

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© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - The super full Moon rises over a ridge in Whatcom County north of Bellingham, Wash., on Monday July 22, 2013.

A Quick Update and a Few Photos: Mount Baker in Alpenglow

With my photography biz picking up, I’ve been rather busy and have neglected to post new entries.

I’ve got more work from Getty Images, a few local companies have hired me to shoot portraits of their staff and products, getting wedding and engagement inquiries, and have been out shooting my personal stuff. And I’ve kept a day job working in a retail store.

With that being said, you now know why I picked the one photo as the lead photo for this blog. So, I’m going to get the ball rolling and kick this adventure into high gear.

With that being said, here are a few photos from just this past week. On Monday, I chased the super perigee Moon, or “SuperMoon,” while it rose over Whatcom County and Bellingham, Wash.

“Rolling Ball”

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - A super perigee Moon appears to roll down a hill while rising in the southeaston Monday evening July 22, 2013, in Whatcom County north of Bellingham, Wash.

I was on Ferndale Road watching the light on Mount Baker. The beautiful alpenglow was palpably delicious. I saw a field of potatoes ready for harvest. Their flowered tops flowing in the breeze.

As the Sun set in the northwest, I had my lens focused on Mount Baker to the east. I turned around to see the setting Sun through the wheat grass. I quickly removed my camera from the tripod and shot a few frames. With a wide aperture to capture only the grasses in focus, the Sun appeared as a small orb in the lower left. I also underexposed a few stops to keep the grasses in silhouette.

“Amber Waves of Grain”

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - The setting Sun silhuoettes wheat grass growing along Ferndale Road in Whatcom County north of Bellingham, Wash., on Monday evening July 22, 2013.

Just moments after the Sun dipped below the horizon, the remain light bathed Mount Baker in a beautiful purple alpenglow. I had to quickly shoot some frames before it disappeared. Just after that, the full Moon began rising above a ridge south of Mount Baker. I could just see the glow of the Moon.

“Purple Mountains Majesty”

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - The setting Sun alights Mount Baker in alpenglow on Monday evening July 22, 2013.

I repositioned my camera with my telephoto to shoot it. It reminded me of a photo shot by the great photographer Peter Turner called “Rolling Ball.” Photographer Eric Meola wrote about this iconic piece on his blog titled “Finding Pete Turner’s Rolling Ball.”

After shooting that photo, I chased down another opportunity I scoped out earlier in the day: The rising Moon above the old Whatcom County Courthouse. That adventure is for an upcoming post. Nothing like seeing a beautiful, awe-inspiring scene to have it ruined because of the limitations of digital cameras. I’ll update with a link to the blog. But for now, here’s a link to the photograph: Full Moon over the Whatcom Museum.

Here’s a quick view of some future blogs:

•    Before/After: Fixing a Photo
•    Critiquing photos: 3 easy steps to help you learn photography
•    Spray and Pray: Don’t hope you get the shot, plan to get the shot
•    Photo Updates: (Victoria’s Secret, Daily shoots, etc.)
•    What I learned working retail ( I worked at Home Depot for a while).

Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

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The Great Northwest

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad PhotographyThe Harvest Moon rises near Mt. Baker east of Bellingham, Wash., as seen from the Lummi Reservation on Lummi Shore Drive.© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad PhotographyThe Harvest Moon rises near Mt. Baker east of Bellingham, Wash., as seen from the Lummi Reservation on Lummi Shore Drive.