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Moonlight Sonata
Moonlight Sonata

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: 4:00-5:00 a.m. II (Advanced Editing VII*)
Camera: Canon EOS-5D
Lens: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0L IS
Location: Upper Beaver Meadows, Rocky Mountain National Park
Date: Oct 28, 2010
Aperture: f/4.0
ISO: 100
Shutter: 525s
Galleries: Landscape, Black and White
Date Uploaded: Oct 28, 2010

Waning gibbous 64% moon, which is optimal for lighting night landscape without washing out star trails. Snow storm ended the day before, which left a couple inches of snow from 8,500' to 14,259'. Really helped this moonlit shot. Image captured in Upper Beaver Meadows at 4:23 AM on 10/28/10. Looking generally South. I especially like this image because the star trails are flowing from left to right (earth rotation). The mountain wave cloud is flowing from right to left (prevailing westerly winds). Makes for a dynamic image.

35mm lens focal length...full size sensor. Raw image. Aperture 3. Silver Efex Pro plugin.

Moonlight Sonata, the piano sonata No. 14 in C♯ minor (Quasi una fantasia) by Beethoven, was completed in 1801. It is believed that Beethoven dedicated the piece to his student with whom the composer fell in love. Moonlight Sonata was one of Beethovenís most popular sonatas. I love to play the music while looking at the image. It works!

For the record, when I print this out, the star trails are not jaggy. On my monitor, they look jaggy. Must be a screen resolution thing.... 96 ppi monitor vs. 350 ppi image. Keep in mind that any monitor can only display curved lines as a series of pixels. The thinner the line, the more obvious the pixelization. And since star trails are extremely thin lines (maybe just a pixel or two wide), you are going to see some pixelization.

Finally, this image was captured on October 28, 2010. During subsequent days of the challenge entry time duration, the sky/weather conditions were never like this again. So, I consider this a lucky capture.

Post challenge: I'd like to hear from the 15 people who voted less than 5. What suggestions for improvement do they suggest?

Place: 7 out of 43
Avg (all users): 6.6308
Avg (commenters): 7.7778
Avg (participants): 5.8500
Avg (non-participants): 6.6958
Views since voting: 1917
Views during voting: 555
Votes: 260
Comments: 16
Favorites: 0

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11/21/2012 09:09:13 AM
What a lovely sensuous curve the mountain has.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/16/2010 04:11:47 PM
Hey Richard, I don't know how I missed commenting on this. I got to wondering, "Hey, didn't that hahn guy enter the 4AM? I coulda' sworn he had said he did..." and I went looking and here you are, lurking in plain sight in the top 10 with this lovely capture.

I wouldn't worry about the 15 who voted less than a 5... Some peoples' boats just float in different streams, you know?

Congrats on the top-10!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/10/2010 02:28:24 AM
exquisite! Congratulations on top ten!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/10/2010 12:30:50 AM
The black and white added a touch to this... I would love to see what it looked like in color.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/10/2010 12:12:59 AM
Congrats Richard on top 10. I should have know this was you......technical perfection!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
11/08/2010 10:09:40 PM
Love the movement, and its a unique trail shot. Nicely done
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/08/2010 08:42:13 PM
very impressive
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/08/2010 06:08:23 PM
Would love to see this in color - although I'm sure you had a good reason to go with B/W. Brrr... must've been brutally cold - hope it's worth your effort and ends up in the top5.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/07/2010 10:40:48 PM
This conveys a sense of majesty, grandeur, and quietness. Very nicely done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/05/2010 11:53:58 AM
nice shot- top 5
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/05/2010 09:52:26 AM
i really like this photo
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/04/2010 04:02:50 PM
This is wonderful. Trails are a really nice, sharp, short length. Rest of the scene is perfect. Great exposure, great tones. Excellent photo.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/03/2010 09:55:37 PM
Very nice B&W conversion applied to this photo. I like the clarity in the details of this obviously long exposure.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/03/2010 04:02:07 PM
a winner!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/03/2010 03:39:03 PM
Beautiful scene.
Love the trails.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/03/2010 03:30:40 PM
Wonderful idea and great execution
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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