Friday, April 2, 2010

Moon Over the Capitol (and the big blunder)

Before I get into the details of this shot, I want to pass along that I had the honor and privilege of being mentioned in a couple of blogs recently. One is Van Sutherland's Exile Imaging blog and the other is Alan Kesselhaut's blog. They are both excellent photographers and have great blogs themselves. For them to mention me in such a positive light is quite an honor to say the least. Of course, after I talk about this picture above, they may change their minds. So, onto the blunder and thanks again Van and Alan! Check out their blogs when you get a chance!

As you can see, this is a shot of the Texas State Capitol that I took on the morning of April 1st, 2010. I was pretty excited about getting it because, as you can see, the moon was full and the clouds were really moving fast so as to not totally obstruct the light from the moon. I set up my gear and took some brackets here and there all the while thinking to myself that these are gonna turn out really awesome when I'm done! I couldn't wait to process them!

After work, the time came to load them up onto the the computer and make some magic! But wait, the file sizes were only about a tenth of their normal size and the extension was .jpg instead of .nef! NOOOOOOOOO!!! I mistakenly left the quality setting on my D90 at BASIC, the smallest resolution setting on it! What a bonehead/rookie mistake! You see, a couple days before, I had to take a couple of snapshots for work that didn't need any serious resolution, and basic was all that was needed. Well, I forgot I did that and forgot to go through my WHIMS (thanks Scott Kelby) before I shot. WHIMS stands for:

* W: White Balance
* H: Hightlight clipping warning
* I: ISO
* M: Mode (JPEG or RAW)
* S: Shooting (Resetting to the right shooting mode for the subject: Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual, etc.)

Had I done the WHIMS before I started shooting like Mr. Kelby recommends, I would have noticed the mode was on basic and I would've changed it back to raw. Stupid, stupid, stupid (picture me doing the "I could've had a V8" thing to my forehead)!

I'm wondering, since I took this one on April 1st, was my mind playing a cruel subconscious April Fool's joke on me? If so, not very funny, but I digress once again...

Anyway, I decided to process the shot anyway and I must say, I'm not too disappointed in how it turned out. I think I probably lost a little detail here and there and maybe the highlights in some areas are a little too blown out, but overall I'm pretty happy with it. Let me know what you think.


  1. Well, I think we've all done something like this a time or two (or four or five). I'll have to remember WHIMS. Still a cool shot, Evan, and you did your usual kick *ss job on the post processing. And thanks for the link!

  2. Who hasn't performed a perfectly executed blunder, ever? Everyone has at some point, it's just will they admit to it?
    Nice shot in spite of everything.

  3. Thanks Van and Lyn! I guess it's OK to blunder as long as the shot turns out OK. I got lucky on this one...


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