And all the while, the moon was shining…

“The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,…”

The Night Before Christmas, Clement Clarke Moore

If you’ve never ventured out onto the snow during a full moon you really can’t understand the magical scene as described in this classic poem.  Although mid-day may be an exaggeration as far as illumination is concerned, there is a lot of light bouncing around on such a night.  Here are a couple of examples I made this week when the clouds went away around midnight.

ISO 100, 30mm, 30 sec., f/4.5

ISO 100, 30mm, 30 sec., f/4.5

ISO 100, 35mm, 20 sec., f/5.6

ISO 100, 35mm, 20 sec., f/5.6

The full moon is directly overhead so there are no shadows, which can make an eerie scene.  It’s an effect thought to be the basis for the legend that vampires don’t cast shadows.  I haven’t performed much processing on these images; I think they can be made more dramatic with a little work to enhance the brightness of the snow and darken the sky.

It’s a bit of a challenge to make these.  The temperature was about 10F with no wind but glove are still required.  Makes handling all the buttons and dials on a digital camera a challenge.  And that low temperature just sucks the life out of batteries.  By the time I got the first image composed, focused, exposed properly and set the timer, the battery went dead in the middle of the exposure.  You end up switching batteries from camera to inside your jacket and back after only a couple of shots.

Looks to be cloudy here for the next few nights so these are probably my only good moon shots for now.  Great way to experience the deep quiet of a winter night on the Plains.

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