Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Moonlight hike to Cecret Lake: Trip Report

Last night, my son Sam and I went on a hike to Cecret Lake, in Albion Basin, high in Utah's Wasatch Mountains. The point of the hike was to hike by the light of the full moon. We got to the trailhead just as it was getting dark. The moon hadn't yet risen. I was hoping to get some good pics of it, so I brought my zoom lens and my tripod.
We started up the trail. It's about a mile to the lake, so we took our time, glancing up at the eastern horizon for the imminent rise of the moon. The first indication that the moon was getting close to appearing was a touch of light on the undersides of some clouds. As the moon made its way into the clouds, it was beautiful. I tried taking some pics of the clouds with the moonlight streaming through them, but they were hand held as I didn't want to get out the tripod at this point, and they ended up being blurry.
Once the moon came out from behind the clouds, I took a hand held shot of it. It looked like this:

That was likely my best shot of the night. We made our way up to the lake and I got out the tripod. I have my camera set up so that I'm looking through the little viewfinder to focus the camera, instead of the screen. I do that to save battery power, however, I wish I'd have switched to viewing in on the screen, something I would need to look in my instruction book to figure out how to do it has been so long since I changed it. Looking through the viewfinder, it was very hard to tell if I had it accurately focused. I actually didn't as you can see from this pic:

I don't know if my eyes are just bad, or what happened. I just couldn't see for sure if it was in focus. The photography, though disappointing, was a learning experience. As for the rest of the hike, it was amazing. The object of the hike was to hike by the light of the full moon, and that we did. I will definitely do it again sometime, and hopefully it will give me another opportunity to figure out what I'm doing wrong when I take my moon pics. I know I've got the settings pretty close on the camera, it's just the focus issue and I'm thinking that looking at it on the screen should take care of that. If not, then I'm just not going to get any real good shots of the moon. I'm not prepared to concede that. The bottom line is that it was a great adventure and I'm always looking forward to more of that.

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