Rat Rock Island Moonrise

Canon 1DX, 200mm, ISO 200, .3 sec @ f11. Metering mode on aperture priority with a -1 EV

Yesterday was one of those rare days when the moon rose at the exact same time as the sun set. And on a small, sandy, strip of beach in Marin County, about a dozen Camera West friends joined me to document the full moon.

I’ve always wanted to get a photo of Rat Rock Island, situated a hundred yards off the shore of China Camp State Park near San Rafael. I’ve seen some beautiful photos other shooters have made of this island with a strange name and I wanted my own.

As part of a full moon project I started last year to get me out shooting again, I checked The Photographers Ephemeris (TPE) to see how the moonrise was shaping up for this month and to my surprise I saw that the moonrise & sunset times matched. (What makes this so special for you the photographer is that for a few minutes, it is possible to get detail in both the moon and the landscape.) Rat Rock Island came immediately to mind and when I checked the map within TPE, I saw that it was going to work. The moon would rise directly over the island!

The Photographer's Ephemeris showed that the moon would rise directly above Rat Rock Island at 5:26pm. The blue line indicates the direction of the rising moon, the other lines show sunrise, sunset and moonset.

Prior to sunset, we all got our cameras set up, including David Cheung in the foreground.

As the sun sets behind us, we all wait patiently for the moon to make its appearance behind Rat Rock Island seen in the distance.

As the moon appeared right on time, we all clicked away.

We all had a great time until an unseen park ranger spoiled our fun. Turns out the park closes at sunset and with an annoying bull horn from the road above, he announced our cars would all be ticketed if we did not leave immediately. But no worries, we all escaped with no fines and some great pictures of Rat Rock Island.

If you are interested in attending similar photo outings like this one, be sure to check the events link on the left of this page. Once a month I lead inexpensive photo walks and we are always offering some great workshops throughout the year. Be sure to check them all out!

Want to shoot the next moonrise? Check out this previous blog post I wrote on how to shoot a moonrise photo, and this link for the landscape photographer’s best friend : The Photographers Ephemeris.

Printing Workshop with Jason Bradley

Thank you Jason Bradley and everyone who attended his From File To Print Workshop at Camera West in Walnut Creek over the weekend. This was a unique event where clients after learning the basics of raw processing, color management, and choosing the right paper, had a one to one consultation and print session with Jason. Clients brought one of their favorite images and with Jason’s help, produced a beautiful mounted large format print to take home.

Jason will be leading this same workshop at Camera West in Rancho Mirage February 15 & 16 as well as other workshops this spring. Be sure to check the events link on the Camera West website for details.

Conrad Rowling watches as Jason loads paper into the Canon large format printer

Jason mounts Anna Marie Maagdeberg's print as her husband Harry looks on.

Jason and workshop attendees look at their prints

Russ Harrison proudly displays his new print of a grizzly bear on the Alaska tundra with Jason

New Leica S in the House

Leica S Product Specialist Ben Ross (2nd from right) goes over the new Leica S features as Leica Rep Tom Brichta, and customers Steven Foon and Dr. Peter Rowe look on.

Leica’s S Product Specialist Ben Ross visited Camera West in Walnut Creek yesterday bringing with him a shiny new Leica S Typ 006. It was our first opportunity to get trained by Ben on all the new features of this new updated Leica S. I must say it’s quite an impressive camera!

The S has a huge 37.5mp 30x45mm sensor capable of 16-bit color with no low-pass filter, producing unparalleled optical performance with Leica’s S glass.

Of course the S is a real attention-getter and sure enough, customers were all over the new S checking it out.

Leica M9 shooter William Palank tries out the new S.

Camera West Walnut Creek manager Dan Leto shows the new S Calendar to customers Dr. Peter Rowe and Steven Foon. The Leica S-System calendar is a collection of 12 hand-selected images by acclaimed British photographer Rankin.

The new S Typ 006 is not yet in stock but we are taking orders and can get one in your hands soon!

Monterey Bay Aquarium Photo Walk

Reach Out & Touch - Photo by Michael Maloney

You are invited to join Michael on this very special Camera West Photo Walk where we will explore the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Located at the ocean’s edge, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a window to fascinating marine life. It is home to sea otters, penguins, sharks, jellies and thousands of other marine animals and plants.

A three-story, 335,000-gallon tank with clear acrylic walls offers photographers stunning views of leopard sharks, sardines, anchovies, and other creatures swimming through a towering kelp forest. There is also a 1.2-million-gallon Outer Bay tank that houses open-ocean life, including yellowfin tuna, large green sea turtles, barracuda, sharks, giant ocean sunfish, and schools of bonito.

Shooting through acrylic and getting proper exposure and sharp images can be challenging but Michael will be there by your side to help you produce photos you’ll be proud of.

Unlike past photo walks, only 6 participants will accompany Michael for this one giving you the opportunity to work closely with him to hone your photographic skills.

Sign up early for this photo walk as it will fill up quickly. Note that it is on a Thursday, to take advantage of less crowds.

Thursday, April 18, 2013
Cost : $50.00 plus admission to aquarium.

Call or email Michael at Camera West in Walnut Creek for more info or to sign up.