Once in a Blue Moon - @HarneyPhoto

Once in a Blue Moon.  Google it and you get

Very rarely. "he comes round once in a blue moon"
synonyms: hardly ever, almost never, scarcely ever, rarely, very seldom.

The blue moon is the second Full Moon in a calendar month.  The last was March 31st, 2018. But they're not that rare. We will have two extra full moons (Blue Moons) in 2018, the other was January. They generally occur every 2 or 3 years.

What's special about the March Blue Moon, was it coincided the an approaching high pressure system (offshore winds - easterlies), on a weekend, and calm seas.

Which means???

I managed to be in the water to photograph it. The plan was to get in the water early and capture the full moon and its shimmer on the waters surface


That was pretty easy as the Blue Hour (The hour before the first light appears in the east when the sky turn from dark blue almost black to light blue as the suns rays penetrate the sky).

I shot quite a few photos both horizontal and vertical. And i thought that would do and commenced shooting the water surface and the approaching light from the east.

I kept shooting looking for different angles and light.  Eventually Golden Hour (the hour between first light and the sun escaping the horizons grip), producing an amazing pastel orange tinge.

Then as the moon got closer to the horizon, the shot I never thought I would capture appeared before me. Blue Hour and Golden Hour together with a full moon setting.

I have only managed to photograph both Blue and Golden hour together once before. Its not the easiest to do as they rarely (once in a Blue Moon, so to speak) appear long enough together. The moment when the oranges and red merge with the blues creating an amazing band of colours that last for a minute if you are lucky and reflecting on the water.

But this shot is the result.


A moment later and the scene change immensely as the colours changed to show more of the Golden hour hues and night finally fell below the horizon.

These two shots are only minutes apart (and a different focal plain) yet are so different.


What I love most about these early morning encounters are the pastel colours and the way I can capture them without much post work involved. It all comes down to the settings on the camera.

Being colour deficient (for you politically correct,  colourblind for the normal people). I see these colours differently, so by pumping up the shutter speed to approx 1/4000 and opening up the aperture to f1.8 I'm able to get an image in camera that I can see the different hues, even if they look different to me.

All these shots were shot with my big camera, the Nikon D800 with a Nikon 85mm 1:4.

The image below is the actual file before any adjustments. Not a lot was needed really. (for the skeptics).


So, that is the story behind that one shot. The average person looks at a photo and see the photo. They don't see the story behind it.

Will I ever get this photo again, highly unlikely. For all the conditions to be there at that one time is extremely rare. It truly was a once in a lifetime occurrence that usually goes un-noticed as it occurs around 6.15am.

I shot the day before, and the day after and could not replicate it. The moon was either too low or too high, and the two tonal hours didn't blend at that magical moment. Maybe I will try again in a few years if the conditions are just right.

It's a really only personal achievement. One that unfortunately didn't do well on social media networks. Which brings me to another crucial question, is what I see with my eyes so different to what normal seeing people see, that only I see the magic and significance of such a shot.??

Till next time


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