Four Lights and a Texter

March 13, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

There was a full moon last week and with a forecast of reasonably clear skies I was hopeful that I could add to my lunar series. The Photographer’s Ephemeris showed that, from middle of the West Pier, the moon would rise out of the mouth of Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the evening of Thursday the 5th. Sadly, as the day approached, cloud cover increased and it looked like there would be no moonshots this month, morning or evening! That afternoon I was glumly looking at grey skies from my office.  . .  and then the setting sun began to break through about 5pm! A quick check of the Harbour webcams – clear skies there as well, although not to the horizon. Moonrise was due in just over an hour, so with evening traffic I needed to get my gear together and,  . . .  ahem . . ., delegate getting one of the lads to training!

Four-lights-texter-TPE

Unfortunately, when I arrived at the base of the pier, the break in the clouds was shrinking rapidly but I was hopeful the gap would last just a little longer. As you can see below, though, all I got was a thin streak of moonlight over the entrance. I used the Canon 100-400 lens on the 7D at 115mm, f11, ISO200 and 30 seconds. As I was standing on top of the pier to increase the separation of the foreground wall from the lighthouses, and there was a bit of a breeze, I stabilised the tripod by hanging my camera bag from it.  As always, I used a cable release and I composed using liveview so when shot time came, the mirror was already locked up. With an exposure this long, it was easy to capture the red and green flashes of the East and West Pier lights – seven second intervals but not synchronised. The Kish Light in the distance gives a double flash every 20 seconds. Checking, the Commissioners of Irish Lights website, I believe the small light near the Kish is the South Burford Buoy.

Four Lights and a Texter At the time, I thought this would just be a practise shot but when I looked at it on the computer, I rather liked the arrangement of the lights and the streak of moonlight – but what was that lump on the end of the West Pier?? On a 100% zoom, I saw I wasn’t the only lunatic at large – someone else had to urgently text or check their status! If you don't believe, check out a bigger version of the shot on Flickr!


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