Friday, March 18, 2011

An Experiment

I will be away this weekend.  I will be hiking the Appalachian Trail.  Sadly, though it is something I will accomplish before I die, I will not be hiking the entirety of it this weekend. 
My wife and I are going to Pine Grove Furnace State Park for some excellent hiking and photo opportunities.  It is considered the mid-point for thru-hikers of the AT, but it is also rich with history of its own.  I'm not going to go into details right now, for I am sure on my return there will be a history lesson accompanying my pictures, but suffice it to say: near the park is a once-secret WWII Prisoner of War Camp that housed 2500 German and Japanese POWs during its operation. Now, the woods of the surrounding area are in the process of reclaiming the land.  Interesting, right?  We sure think so...this state park combines our interests perfectly, nature and history.
The point I was trying to make in all of that rambling, was that Saturday, March 19th will come and go without an update.  Sunday will have two updates and probably a bunch of awesome pictures.

Today's picture is connected with my weekend plans.  Part of my desire to get out and camp this weekend is because the moon will be pretty massive on Saturday night.  Technically, it won't be any bigger than it is now, but the way we perceive it, it will actually appear to be 14 percent larger.  Also brighter.  This is due to the moon's orbit, it happens every month.  But this month is special, it's closest point in it's orbit will fall on a full moon.  It will be the biggest it has appeared to be since 1993.
So, my question is how different will it really appear to be?  The estimate is 14 percent, but will that really be noticeable?  Well, I'm going to attempt to find out just what the difference in tonight and tomorrow night's moon really is.  I'm going to use an 85mm lens on both nights, I'm going to use the exact same ISO, the same f-stop, and the same shutter speed.  I'm going to crop it, alter clarity and change the contrast all in the same way.  The only thing I can't keep exactly the same is the surrounding lights.  Tonight's moon will be in a more suburban area where as tomorrow night's will be out in the woods.  Maybe I'll make my way into a parking lot or something to take tomorrow's.  I'll do what I can to replicate tonight's surroundings.  Here is the moon on Friday, March 18th.  Make sure to check out Sunday's update for the results of my experiment. 

Friday's Moon
I cropped tightly in order to see just how much of the frame is filled with Saturday's moon. 

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