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Coincides with the same day that is mid-autumn festival, a Chinese holiday. The weeks leading up to it, I kept wondering if I should be giving to people moon cakes, since that’s what Chinese people do during these things. But then I always would wonder if it would be weird for me to do it, since even though I am Chinese, I’m very westernized, and my friends aren’t really into that culture either. But it was just some constant thought in the back of my head.

Anyways, today was a total lunar eclipse. That’s when the Earth’s shadow covers up the entire moon, making it look a different colour. I had to take pictures of this for my Astronomy class’ assignment. At first I thought of it as a really annoying thing. I had to go all the way to UBC at 7pm, to take pictures behind the Museum of Anthropology on a cold night.

Not enjoyable.But As the days came closer, I began to like the idea more and more. It became a photography field trip where I just so happen to be able to fulfill my assignment’s requirements, rather than I was going there to do academic work. So it made it much more enjoyable. The cover photo is one I took from that little trip. The ISO was really messed up for all of my photos today, as I just completely flat-lined on it’s existence. The photos didn’t look grainy at all on the small 2.5″ LCD display of my 60D. It was also my first real attempt at doing post-production on photos. A noise removal, a sharpener, and some light softening. It honestly looks slightly how I was envisioning the shot when I was trying to take it. Great!

Backtracking a bit, a friend told me yesterday to bring someone to go with me to my late-night solo photo-op. But I didn’t really think anyone would want to do that, and I didn’t think much more of it. But then when I woke up today, I began to spend more and more time thinking about that.

Should I bring someone else with me?

I thought about it a lot, and spent time discussing with myself who I should ask, if I would even ask, and why would they come. Sooner rather than later, it was about time for me to go. I told my other friend I was about to leave, and then they also told me to bring someone.

At that point I had been outnumbered two to one, and texted someone to see if they would come. Honestly, I didn’t even expect them to respond before I got to UBC, nor even show any interest to go. I was even a little surprised a got a reply before the eclipse started at 7:15! I wasn’t expecting that, and was suddenly confused on whether I should be turning the car around to go find them. I decided against it, figuring that I didn’t really have that much time, nor did I give them that much time. They didn’t want to come anyways, so it was okay. But I think the way I was replying/conversing really didn’t help to persuade them to come. Lack of information, multiple replies, and bad timing. If I had asked maybe 5 hours previously, I wouldn’t have these afterthoughts.

Anyways.

I parked at the Museum. It was a little fun, finding my way around UBC in a car. Sure, it was really just turning left on the next intersection, but I’ve never driven or even walked by there before, so it was all new to me (I did make a wrong turn since the roads were weird). UBC charges parking fees 24/7, which made me really unhappy. 3.50$ for an hour of parking at fucking 7:00 pm where there is literally no one there makes no sense. Even if you think of the lost opportunity cost of not charging 24/7, just factoring in the wage expense to  have people supervise those areas is probably worse. And that’s not even including the net change in utility!

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But yeah. There were a LOT more people than I expected. I expected maybe 50 people to be there. Instead I got about 300~ people there. GREAT! I hate people. Especially when it’s about photography. People just make it so much more frustrating.

That thought became much more obvious when the eclipse did show up. Beyond the fact that people didn’t even realize it was up until a while later, the fact that my once previously empty area had become super crowded really upset me. I had set-up my equipment (tripod and camera settings) and was ready for 5 second shutter times, but I was not ready for people walking in front of my camera lens ever 2 seconds for 15 minutes.

I hated people so much then. They ruined so many photos. So many minutes of time. So many lost opportunities. I would also blame of problem of focus on them too, but that’s also user error (manual focus is hard).

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Tungsten light balance makes the sky this kind of nice dark-navy blue. I liked it.

I tried to ignore it as much as I can as I took more pictures. Honestly, most of the photos are about the same. A red-ish moon, some shadowy trees, and a dark-colour background. Sometimes there are some stars.

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Orange-brown background!

Like this one.

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This is kind of purple this time.

And then this one.

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Wow it’s dark.

And this one.

I got really bored of these photos.

I found a really pretty set-up of car lights shining against a guy looking into the sky. As I turned around to take the photo, I got blocked by a person. I didn’t even get chance to switch positions or think about a different position. The car turned off it’s headlights, and I cried inside.

I also wanted to murder that girl. Strangle her.

Well it wouldn’t have turned out that nicely since my ISO settings were still fucked up. But still.

I hate her.

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This looked better in my head.

I packed up my stuff and left. Until I walked down the hill and looked back. I realized I wanted to do more night shots, and that this was a good as time as any for them. So I spent another 30 minutes there. I only have 5 different shots, and I spent 30 minutes in the dark fumbling around for them.

To get home to see the ISO.

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The light gave a more ‘bursting out’ feel, and it was a more warm light colour. Also reflected on the dreams. At least in my head, and on the 2.5″ LCD screen.

I didn’t mind spending so much time on these photos. I really do enjoy photography, and trying to compose shots. Only really scenery/still-life though. I was told and agreed with the importance of pictures on real people. Time, memories, those kind of things.

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ONE TRY ONE SHOT

A part of me was very glad no one came with me. I don’t think I would have spent that much time, or cared that much about night-shots if someone else was there with me. Especially because they didn’t have the same interest/care about night photos. It just wouldn’t feel fair. Also, even if I did take these photos, they would be bored out of there mind in 3 minutest. I spent so much time waiting for shutter times, adjusting the tripod, and doing test shots to see how all the functions come together in the shot.

I feel like I should try more post-production on some of the other photos. Some of these really could need some work. Especially in the noise + sharpening department. Maybe next time.

This makes me more interested in doing another photography adventure trip thingy. I’m not sure if I would ask someone to come with me for that either. I would because yay company, yay more comfortable, yay more opinions. But I feel the other person would have almost zero interest in it. A lot of people who enjoy looking at nice photos, would never enjoy the preparatory work needed for photos. That’s kind of why I really like candid shots of people. Little prep work, all on spot composition, and no need to get the people to do something specific.

I’ll see I guess. If the next adventure is because of some viewing event, I would entertain that thought. Maybe if there’s a solar eclipse. NASA says the next visible solar eclipse in North America is August 2017… That’s a long ways away. I have that 1.5 year dare to go through before that happens, and I can’t even imagine that happening.

Only time will tell.

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