I've been fretting with my tripod and camera connection for the last year. With the full moon coming up, it's time to get that fixed.
Meet a ballhead, aptly named because it is movable thanks to the ball and socket connection, like our hip joints. This is not the one I got, but you can get the idea. They range in price from $39 to $800. No I'm not telling you what I paid because it was a gift ..... to myself, for my birthday. Good photographic equipment is expensive, but no, I did NOT pay $800.
I couldn't wait to try it out. Mine has lots of buttons on it, making it difficult to figure out which one to turn to get the desired results. My first picture was of the concrete ... a slight error in the tightness of the knob.
The moon was beautiful and about half full, surrounded by clouds. That's the first picture above. This was the second picture. It took me that long to figure out how to set the darn thing up. As I was snapping away, some old gent (old is always older than me) came by riding a scooter. Not the electric kind, but the ones you push with your foot. That was weird .......
The next night I was back out, having a little more experience this time. It's totally a shot in the dark to figure out the camera settings. They are never the same twice, so it took lots of shots before I got this one. I'm using a Nikon camera and shooting in manual, meaning you have something like 225 chances to get it right. I seem to take all 225.
Last night was the Strawberry moon, so of course I had all my gear ready in the back yard. Trees and a big light pole blocked my view. I headed out front and got all set up. Let it be known I'm not usually out at this time of night. Just then I spotted movement at the end of my driveway.
NO ..... it CAN'T be!!! I swear I saw three little skunks cross over and duck into my drain pipe. I quickly changed the camera settings, but it wouldn't focus. It's pitch black by now, but I'm SURE I saw them cross the road. If you've ever seen a skunk move about, you know the telltale movement of their tails. I tried over and over again to get a picture. This is the best that came up. You have to use your imagination, but those black spots are three skunks. YIKES!!! That was REALLY weird. I've never seen or smelled any in this area before.
At long last, the strawberry moon came up over the trees so I could get a good shot, all the while keeping an eye on the direction of the skunks.
On the way back in the house, I heard CRUNCH!!! Oh YUCK!!! My porch now had six huge snails moving around and I was lucky enough to step on one. My shoes are still outside on the porch.
In the meantime, I may just have this rib smoking thing down. I'll show you pictures tomorrow.