Full Moon Fun


Full Moon Rising by Chip Bunnell PhotographyWhether the perfect center piece of a romantic evening or background for a scary movie, a full moon is a powerful player. It drives our tides and can even light our path through the darkness. From its rise until it hides behind the western horizon, we know the moon is always on the move. Minute by minute, hour by hour, the moon marches across the complete distance of our skies. Even though we know all this, do we really know how fast the moon is flying around our galactic oasis? On a spur of the moment thought, I decided to answer this very question.

According to scientists much smarter than me, the answer is 1.022 km per second. But what does that mean to a photographer? To conduct my experiment, I set my full frame camera on a tripod with a focal length of 365mm. After dialing in the correct exposure for the moon (remember – it’s much brighter than you think), I set the moon in the lower left corner of the frame and set my trusty iPhone timer for 60 seconds. >CLICK< The 1st frame was made and the timer started again. A minute later >CLICK< and I reset the timer. Rinse, lather and repeat for the next 10 minutes. In all, my little activity took 11 minutes to get 11 frames.

To get a true comparison, I opened all 11 layers in Photoshop. As the camera was locked on a tripod, there was no need to align the images. After selecting the blend mode of Lighten, I saw all 11 frames and, most importantly, the path of the moon high above. I also noticed how the 1st frame showing a moon lower in the sky was not as bright at the 11th frame, especially on the right edge of the celestial body. To make the moon completely visible in each frame, I hide the even numbered frames which showed a 2 minute time lapse. The attached side-by-side image shows both the frames with a 2 minute gap and then all 11 frames with the actual 1 minute spacing and overlapped position.

So what did this prove? Absolutely nothing, but it was a fun way to spend 11 minutes while admiring a beautiful full moon rising!

Photo Stuff: 11 frames, tripod mounted. Edited in LR and PS

Chip Bunnell Photography
©2016 All Rights Reserved

Happy 239th America


239th Birthday America by Chip Bunnell PhotographyThis year’s fireworks celebration took us to our local S FL beach. We navigated the crowd and staked out our beach front position, as close to the launch point as allowed, literally up against the waist high fence. The skies darkened and finally the 10-minute warning was given. I set up my tripod as my wife sat comfortably next to me in the sand. Over and over, simple streaks of rocket propelled light climbed high in the dark sky, paused for a weightless second and then exploded with a colorful brilliance. The crowd gasped and cheered as if on cue.  Looking up the beach, we could see  miniature versions of other displays that filled the frame.  Even though we could not hear them, I still felt a connection knowing we were all celebrating the birth of our great nation together!

The 4th of July is one of my favorite celebrations of the year and this year was no exception! It is the time when our entire nation puts aside their individual differences and commemorates how a handful of patriots courageously rallied a nation into freedom. For their vision, determination and sacrifice, we will be eternally grateful.

Through my travels I have seen first hand how America is a quite unique country. Our founding principles were first discussed and refined quietly in individual homes. As the ideas of our new nation gained traction, brave individuals met in larger groups and even stood on street corners proclaiming their vision. Despite resistance, they continued with their beliefs until there was an unstoppable thirst to be free that rippled across the land. Despite individual disagreements, it was a time when patriotism and national pride won out in the discussion. This freedom was neither easy nor cheap. Many lost their homes, their families, their lands and even their lives. With each loss, their determination to become a united, new nation grew stronger. The vision of a giant melting pot, open to all who wished more to be American and her future rather than the lands and ideas of their past, was born.

We just marked the 239th birthday of our great nation. As with all celebrations, we look back on the fun, family and friends. Memories of tasty burgers on the grill and the incredible fireworks high overhead are the talk around the office today. As those joyous memories pass, let us keep in our forefront the freedoms of this land and the sacrifices brave patriots made, not just for themselves, but for us, their future. Let us remember that we are far stronger united, than when we are divided. Let us remember how we are to be “one nation, under God.” Let us remember, appreciate and respect what it means to be American!

Photo Stuff: Single frame, processed in LR and Topaz Clarity

Chip Bunnell Photography
©2015 All Rights Reserved