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A Strawberry Moon Rise over Manhattan, Los Angeles Ca | by ™ Pacheco
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A Strawberry Moon Rise over Manhattan, Los Angeles Ca

With my "12 moons over paradise" show soon coming to a wrap... the stars sure did align for me last night. More proof to my very soul, that persistence and preparation equal success in life... regardless of what your trying to achieve.... though, of course success is quite objective.

When i was 19 I started taking opera lessons, because I was obsessed with singing, like everything I do.... i took it very serious,learning about what people thought I should do and what they thought I shouldn't do. What did this what did that.... I studied my anatomy and the very muscles that created pitch and exercised them rigorously in the hope I might conquer the break in my voice... and someday have the ability to actually do with my voice the things I would hear in my head.

"It's a long road to finding yourself..... "and I'm leaving today. "

It's a lifelong process, as you very well may already know. Happy to report, I've come a long way...... with singing that is. And with the fine art of chasing moons around the mountain sides... how wonderfully lucky are we that it happens every damn month. Practice is plentiful. Failure inevitable. Successes, not often enough :) So... with each month I work a little harder to prepare myself for things like this.... because god forbid I put myself in the path of such beauty and lacked the skill set, or simple luck, to actually take the scene home with me... oh dear.... how would I live with myself. Like that's never happened. Ugggg

Last night my strawberry moon rose over the dark pacific.... from my little secret 400MM spot I waited... in the closing darkness... all alone.... just out of reach of falling boulders from what I thought was a sonic boom at around 7:30 or so, and from the crooked corner of my right eye a sweet little unplanned patch of perfect clouds, in the middle of clearing skies, raced toward her... as though guided with remote control from my very own devious fingertips. In the mean time, That dreaded marine layer, the very same that foiled my last two moon set attempts, loomed over the southern coast... blown this way and that from a closing northern storm now just off the western waters of California. Seems the storm just blew a little opening for me to get this snap, cuz it closed up rather quickly.... come to think of it, about just as quickly as my remote control cloud blanket whisped away into the nether. It all seemed so randomly wonderful and bizarrely precise. Hope you like strawberries!

"Darling, I do believe some cinnamon buns are in order. Fire up the oven... I'm coming home to you!!!!, always."



Image info UPDATE: I'm noticing already that the presentation of this image can be interpreted in many ways... for instance, this particular WB is how I shot it. Camera set to Auto WB. All the negs have this reddish glow to them. Poped slightly more with even the slightest of a curve. However, interesting things happen if I spot the cloud glow or marine layer with the WB spot tool. I'll have to live with it for a while before I print anything... personally, i'm just still just in awe at all the negs. This is a higher ISO snap, which looks to be a bit noisy... it's also a quick JPEG output from a macbook with minimal attention to presentation or noise reduction for that matter. I have a few different comps and many snaps, some with higher ISO settings in order to freeze the clouds and maintain moon sharpness, as well as some low ISO's to minimize grain in the atmosphere of the scene, safety shots in the event I need to brighten the scene in any of the black area's.... keep in mind the moon rose 30 Mins past sunset.... so at this time it's at least 50 Mins past sunset... it's dark out. I had to wait till the clouds diffused the moon brightness to minimize the dynamic range of the scene. That technique worked even better as the moon sank fully behind the blanket.... but then I seemed to lose the subject in the clouds.... so it's a fine line... there is a single moment when it's just right. I see it in the progression of images. Mind you, I've only opened the negs once in the office, quick, the first night i shot it... and viewed them on the big screen... so pretty, even as untouched RAWS. I need to remember that... less is more here. The scene really speaks for itself fancy pants. Find the one and leave it alone :)


Note to self: When it's actually dark out... a dark image is ok. The temptation to lighten a darkened scene is sometimes overpowering... use the force luke! keep your eyes on the light.

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Taken on June 5, 2012