Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Gibbous moon

with 37 comments

Not bad for handheld at 400mm and 1/320 of a second at dawn on February 3rd.
If you view this against a dark background you’ll see the sky is blue-indigo.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 16, 2021 at 4:30 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , ,

37 Responses

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  1. Well done: a steady hand (stabilizing lens?).


    February 16, 2021 at 5:08 AM

    • Thanks. The Canon 100–400mm L-series lens I used does have several stops of stabilization built into it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 16, 2021 at 11:58 AM

  2. very nice shot


    February 16, 2021 at 5:22 AM

  3. What camera did you use? you are very skilled!


    February 16, 2021 at 5:55 AM

  4. I am amazed at the clarity and sharpness of this photo. I enlarged the image on my laptop and zoomed in on the individual craters. Great shot, Steve!

    Peter Klopp

    February 16, 2021 at 8:27 AM

    • Thanks. I was pleasantly surprised at how well this picture came out, especially because it’s not my normal kind of subject.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 17, 2021 at 8:14 PM

  5. Great handheld image of the Moon! I like these types of moon shots better than full moon shots because of the crusty bits. It’s just more interesting to me.

    I hope you’re staying warm!


    February 16, 2021 at 8:39 AM

  6. I always enjoy moon photos. It’s been too cloudy and rainy here lately to see much if any of the moon. She should be at 1st quarter on Friday.

    Lavinia Ross

    February 16, 2021 at 10:29 AM

    • This moon photo may be a first for me, at least with this degree of detail.
      Is “cloudy and rainy” the prevalent weather in your part of the state, the way it is in some parts of the northwest?

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 18, 2021 at 5:53 AM

  7. Even here, I can see the indigo at the top right, especially in the largest crater. While I know what a gibbous moon is, I realized I had no idea what ‘gibbous’ means. Ye Olde OED tells me it means ‘bulging’ or ‘convex,’ and is rooted in the Late Latin gibbus, or ‘hunchbacked.’ It began to be used to describe the moon c.1500. It’s probably just as well that Victor Hugo didn’t go for That Gibbous Guy from Notre Dame.


    February 16, 2021 at 1:37 PM

    • You’re funny about Victor Hugo’s possible title. As if photographer I often enough assume a gibbous stance.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 17, 2021 at 8:28 AM

  8. Excellent for hand held, stabilization or not. Did you also make use of Photoshop’s Shake Reduction filter? It’s difficult capturing the blue hour while exposing for the brilliant moon. Nicely done with that as well.

    Steve Gingold

    February 16, 2021 at 4:35 PM

    • I’m aware of the shake reduction filter in Photoshop but didn’t think to use it. The picture seemed OK without it. I did have to reduce noise because of the high ISO.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 17, 2021 at 8:24 AM

  9. Remarkable result, Steve. How much bracketing experimentation did you have to do to get this ideal exposure?


    February 16, 2021 at 5:29 PM

    • We are without power in Austin (check the news to see the sorry state the weather has put Texas in) so I can’t check my archive to be sure, but I seem to remember that this was the one and only picture I took of the moon.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 17, 2021 at 8:22 AM

  10. Amazing clarity!

    Eliza Waters

    February 16, 2021 at 7:52 PM

  11. Gorgeous capture, Steve!

    I’ve been thinking of you and the terrible weather induced Texas predicament and hope you are faring OK. It’s tough to get conditions you just aren’t prepared for.

    Ellen Jennings

    February 17, 2021 at 4:27 PM

    • No one alive in Austin has ever seen anything like the weather of the last 10 days. There have been times when we’ve been without power for 33 hours, then 27 hours, and the temperature won’t have gotten above freezing for a week.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 17, 2021 at 7:57 PM

  12. […] came away with my one moonshot when I’d driven up to the heights along W. Courtyard Dr. on the morning of February 3rd […]

  13. Not bad at all! I’ve only tried photographing closeups of the moon a few times, and never handheld. Nicely done. It’s always interesting seeing the texture where the light falls off.

    Todd Henson

    February 19, 2021 at 5:31 AM

    • No, not bad at all; a welcome surprise. I’m glad I thought to look up, and not just out toward the river.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 19, 2021 at 7:09 AM

  14. Very sharp! I would not have even thought about handholding that and use a tripod 99.9% of the time.


    February 19, 2021 at 10:25 AM

    • And I handhold 99.9% of the time—probably more, as I haven’t used a tripod in years. Granted, there are things you can do with a tripod that are difficult or impossible without one. At some point I expect to go back to experimenting with a tripod to do some of those things.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 19, 2021 at 1:02 PM

  15. Wonderful shot! Fat chance of me getting anything remotely like this 🙂


    February 21, 2021 at 8:07 PM

  16. I’ve been watching from afar and suspected that you’d be out there finding the beauty of the ice and snow.

    I especially appreciate that your site allows many pages to be shown on the home page, and people like me can load the home page, then scroll through later – and enjoy lots of images without being online.

    This moon shot was really lovely!

    Playamart - Zeebra Designs

    February 25, 2021 at 1:31 PM

    • Good to hear from you, and that you’re all right. On your site I also get to scroll through a bunch of posts.

      Yes, I really pushed myself a bunch of times to go out and portray the snow and ice. I’ll probably never again in Austin have as many opportunities for pictures like those.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 25, 2021 at 4:35 PM

    • And one reason I liked this moon shot is that it’s not my usual kind of picture. It’s a one-off that worked out well.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 25, 2021 at 4:37 PM

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