My wife and I were returning down the Taconic State Parkway from a shopping expedition to the Danbury Fair Mall when I noticed what seemed to me to be an exceptionally large moon over our lake. I rushed home, got out my camera and tripod and rushed out to take the picture. The situation was dire. The light was changing very quickly and if I didn’t take the shot quickly I wouldn’t have it at all. I didn’t trust my exposure meter but knowing the luminance of the moon I was quickly able to get off a picture. I was about to take a second picture when the light suddenly changed and the opportunity was gone forever.

Of course the above is mostly complete nonsense liberally adapted from Ansel Adams‘s famous description of the circumstances surrounding the taking of his picture “Moonrise, Hernandez Mexico“. The reality was quite different.

It’s true that we were returning from Danbury and that I saw a large moon over the lake. It’s also true that I grabbed my camera and tripod and went to get the picture. Unfortunately, I then discovered that the picture I had in mind was impossible to get. I wanted the trees and the lake and over them a very large moon. I quickly found that if I wanted a large moon I had to exclude the trees and the lake or if I wanted the trees and the lake then I would have to accept a small moon. Neither of these was a good alternative so I decided on something else: two exposures, one of the trees and the lake and the other of the large moon, which I then combined. The picture was originally in color, but I thought it would look better in black and white.

I quite like the result, but it’s a complete fake.

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