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December 11, 2011
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Staple Tor Moonrise by Alex37 Staple Tor Moonrise by Alex37
FYI because I know this question will crop up...The moon isnt 'big' in fact it's at apogee, I have effectively 'zoomed in' on it with a 560mm lens (400mm + 1.4x).

Staple Tor cuts one of the most striking silhouettes on Dartmoor. There are many viewpoints of Staple Tor but my favourite is also the most accessible! From the south-west one of Staple Tors stacks of granite is exposed to reveal what seems an almost impossible structure of massive plates of granite somehow balancing on one another. It has been an ambition of mine to photograph this particular stack and long ago realised the potential of Staple Tor as a silhouette against a full moon. The best chance would be a moonrise, shot from my favourite southwest viewpoint.
18 months ago I bought a 400mm lens and tele-extender purely to photography the moonrise or moonset against Staple Tor. A £1000 investment on a lens setup that you only really want for one image is not an easy decision to make. So began 18 months of waiting. This is actually a relatively rare occurrence. In order to maintain colour in the sky the image must be taken shortly after sunset. The moon must also be high enough at this point that it rises above the tor itself. This basically gives you one evening every 3rd full moon that is suitable for the shot. I had been looking forward to Friday the 9th of December for almost 6 months! Of course of these relatively few opportunities cloud is likely to ruin some of them. Furthermore tripod vibrations due to wind will inevitably make some evenings hopeless.
When the evening finally came I was well prepared. I had worked out exactly where I needed to be. I had my camera set on a custom mode of exposure settings that I had calculated. I hung 10kg of dumbbells off the tripod to stabilise it in the breeze and an umbrella was used as a windbreak. I was so well drilled by the point the moon peak its head over the hill that I knew that finally, after 18 months I was going to get my shot. This image might look simple, but it\'s anything but!
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:iconxdx:
xDx Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Professional General Artist
Breathtaking. This is beautiful beyond words. That waiting for conditions to be right, planning, prepping, the lens, I'd say it was all worth it. Excellent shot.
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:iconalex37:
Alex37 Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks so much
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:iconaugenweide:
augenweide Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
your beautiful work is featured in my new journal...[link]
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:iconlaffinatlife:
laffinatlife Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2012
Amazing!
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:iconmeema:
Meema Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2012
Nicely done. Perfectly composed and exposed.
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:iconalex37:
Alex37 Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks
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:iconspud667:
Spud667 Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I love the restricted color palette. It gives the image an almost painted feel to it.
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:iconjurgendewitte:
JurgendeWitte Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012  Professional Photographer
Absolutely stunning image and great story behind it!
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:iconpeterlovelock:
peterlovelock Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2012
a big hand shake for you alex - a great use of time, money, skill & dumb bells!
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:iconalex37:
Alex37 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks, and yeah, it's the best use of dumb bells I have seen :P
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