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Lessons

7/24/2020 - 7/25/2020


The weekend started Friday night. So did my re-education. After years of photography, I thought I had put all my rookie mistakes behind me. Then again, last week, I showed up without a memory card in my camera. Carmen bailed me out on this one and gave me the card out of her camera. Writing it off as a fluke, I confidently checked for a memory card in my camera before walking out the door on Friday. Got to my location and turned the camera on.... "No lights came on," was the first thing that ran through my head. Opening up the camera confirmed my suspicions. No battery. It was sitting at home on the charger. My luck was not all bad, though. I had a grabbed my Sony as a backup. It is not the camera I wanted to shoot, but it was better than nothing.


While researching locations to shoot the comet over the last couple weeks, I ran across a location I have only ever visited on accident. I think I was just out riding my motorcyle around and happened across the place. Honestly, I had forgotten all about it. I'm not even sure how I stumbled across it on the internet. The location is the Tulip Trestle. It is a large iron train trestle in the middle of nowhere with a nice southern view. It is also located in a class 3 Bortle zone; so, it is about as dark a location as you can find in Indiana. Perfect for some Milky Way shots. I was not sure if the galactic center would reach over the trestle, but that was not an issue. The only real issues (aside from the fact that I am constantly forgetting things) was the fog. The trestle spans a large wet area. The high humidity and plummeting temps brought up a large fog bank. I shot what I could and called it an early night. I knew I would have to come back again.


I was home by 1 AM. The next morning started at 6 AM with someone pounding loudly on a neighbor's door. For some reason, I could not get back to sleep. I got up and went birding. I headed to Eagle Creek Park with no real plan. I ended up shooting a few hummingbirds and an Eastern Cottontail. I walked around a bit and then went home for a nap.


Nap taken and photos processed, I was ready to get some great shots that night. I met up with Bubbly Birder, Amy Hodson, at the trestle for a night of shooting and learning. Somehow, I was supposed to teach her how to shoot something I do not know a lot about. It kind of worked out.... We had fog and light issues. The moon sets approximately 50 minutes later every night. Arriving at 10:30 PM meant that the moon was still quite high and much brighter than the previous night. The fog was much thicker and higher when it rolled in, too. There was also a lot more car activity in the area. When a car comes by, the headlights wash over the scene. We made the best of it and had some laughs. We even got to listen to an Eastern Screech-Owl call for a while. And, hey, I remembered my memory card and battery this time. Seems like we both are learning. So, I will call the night a success.




Thanks for reading,

Mike


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