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Category Archives: night

I started a class in After Dark Photography last night. It is sponsored by The Methow Conservancy and taught by Ryan Bell. A group of eight of us listened to Ryan talk about exposure and how to use it create our own images with limited light and went outside at dusk to see what we could do. We started at the Conservancy office and then walked across the river to the Winthrop Ice Rink and then back to downtown Winthrop. It was fun to get out and make photos with other enthusiastic people, not afraid of the dark. There are many lights around town so it hardly seemed dark. Our next assignment is the full moon. Hoping for clear skies.

It’s good to go outside with the dogs at night. Sometimes they see something, like a deer, that brings on a fit of barking and they need to be corralled. Other times I see something interesting. Last night it was the clouds. They were thin and illuminated by the waxing moon that was low in the west. These views are looking north. The dogs went inside long before I did.

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Last week I made a few attempts to stay up late or set an alarm in hopes of seeing the aurora borealis but my timing was all off. I never did see the colors and pillars of light that others were seeing. Big sigh. I did see some lovely night skies though. We are lucky to be able to see lots of stars since we don’t have a terrible amount of light pollution. People here value that particular quality of life in the Methow and work hard to encourage others to cut down on night lighting or shroud their lights in such a way that the ground is lit but the light is not spread far and wide ruining others’ night time experiences. For more information on this issue, see the International Dark Sky Association website.

This is a good time to see Venus and Jupiter in the early evening sky. From our vantage point they will come close to converging in a few days.

Seems like I’ve had lots of images lately and these slipped my mind. If you recall, on March 19th, there was a Super full moon. According to NASA Science News “Full Moons vary in size because of the oval shape of the Moon’s orbit. It is an ellipse with one side (perigee) about 50,000 km closer to Earth than the other (apogee). Nearby perigee moons are about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than lesser moons that occur on the apogee side of the Moon’s orbit. The full Moon of March 19th occurs less than one hour away from perigee–a near-perfect coincidence1 that happens only 18 years or so.”

So, one week later, here are the images I made on the evening of March 19th.

While waiting for the moon to come up, I noticed this towering cloud over Studhorse Hill and lower Bear Creek, north of here.Cloud over Studhorse Hill

The moon glow over Balky Hill'Super' full moon, March 19

'Super' full moon, March 19

'Super' full moon, March 19

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