Personal Favourites - Ars Silentium Photography
Powered by SmugMug Log In

A Light In The Dark

This photo needed A LOT of planning. First I had to check the weather to see how the forecast for the night was. Crystal clear skies, perfect! My intention was to take a picture of a tree with the rising full moon. I then had to find out which tree would be qualified for the image I had in mind. I knew a tree from an earlier shoot in 2011, see 'Of Tree And Grass', that maybe suit my needs. The tree faced to the east and had no obstacles in front or behind it. Then I checked 'The Photographer's Ephemeris' to see from which position I had to take the picture. I had to be absolutely sure that there weren't any obstacles in the way when shooting from quite a distance with 400 mm. There were still some questions open I couldn't answer on the computer. What if the farmer parked his tractor right in front of the tree? What if there were cows grazing on the meadow? What if...? I had to find out myself. To my relief, there was no tractor and there were no cows. At first I wanted to have the whole tree in the image but that didn't quite work. There was an ugly signpost to the left that I couldn't get out of the picture if I included the whole tree. So I got a bit closer to use the tree as a frame. Thankfully, that worked. On my photo of 2011 you can't see the signpost because of the high grass and the wider angle. All I had to do now is wait. I felt a bit uneasy because the farm was quite near and I feared the farmer would chase me away from his property. Well, it wasn't the farmer, it was his dog who tried. The dog trotted to me and started to bark. I ignored her/him as best I could. After a while she/he lost interest and left. I was alone again. The hours passed by. At moonrise there was no moon to be seen. I got anxious, were my calculations wrong? I checked my GPS. The point of the compass was spot on. Where was the moon? I ran up the hill to have a look. I could see the moon, it just wasn't high enough to be seen from my position. To my horror, I had to change the composition because I didn't think about that. Thankfully, there was another lone tree to the left which I could use. I composed the picture anew and waited. After what felt like an eternity the moon could finally be seen. I only had one or two chances to get the shot right. I couldn't tell the moon to stop rising. I took the pictures and hoped the best. This is my most effortful photo so far. I'm very pleased how the image turned out.

From Switzerland