The light was leaving, In the west it was blue, The children's laughter sang
And skipping just like the stones they threw, Their voices echoed across the way
It's getting late
It was just another night, With a sunset, And a moonrise not so far behind
To give us just enough light, To lay down underneath the stars, Listen to papa's translations, Of the stories across the sky
We drew our own constellations....

excerpt - Constellations by Jack Johnson

This song by Jack Johnson was playing so clearly in my in my head as I crouched low on our boat and snapped away at the night sky above this lovely little windless bay.

I love nighttime photography.  I find the night sky just stunningly beautiful.

I’ve thought for a while that our summer anchorages off of these deserted islands in Georgian Bay would be perfect star photo locations.  Last weekend I decided to take a crack at it.  

I checked my camera - batteries charged, card cleared, wide angle lens on - check.

I checked my notes for settings - manual mode, high ISO, aperture wide open, speed set to bulb - check.

It was shaping up to be a “stellar” night for the purpose and I felt prepared.  Strangely there was no wind which meant a reasonably still boat (the platform from which I planned to shoot) and perhaps the chance to get some star reflections (a far-fetched hope). The sky was reasonably clear - cloud cover was not due until later.

The only thing I hadn’t checked was the moon.  It’s rising took me totally by surprise.  Doh!  Doubly so when it turned out to be this giant pink ball that quickly faded to orange and then yellow as it ascended.  For a nano second I was disappointed as I realized the stars would nearly disappear in the bright orbs light but then I realized the cloud cover was rolling in early and so I decided to keep snapping in the hopes that I might manage to make something of it all.  And while the above image is not really what I set out to get, I have to say - I’m really rather fond of it.  

...Clouds keep moving to uncover the scene
Stars above us chasing the day away
To find the stories that we sometimes need
Listen close enough
All else fades, fades away

excerpt - Constellations by Jack Johnson


Harvest Moonrise Off Hope Island
Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada
August 2013

• Nikon D700, 14-24 mm, f/2.8
• one exposure processed in Lightroom
• final edits made in Photoshop (Noiseware, sharpening and Color Efex Pro)

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