I was out this evening and just before coming home I enjoyed looking at the moon for a while. It was fairly high in the sky at this point (about 9:30 PM) and there were clouds speeding across the sky, creating a broad glow around it. Clouds lit by the moon are quite beautiful but very difficult to photograph. Our eyes are such amazing things and anyone who thinks there are no improvements to be made in camera design hasn’t stopped to think. The moon is so bright compared to the clouds lit by its reflected light. To our eyes, the clouds are just a little dimmer than the moon but a camera isn’t fooled and isn’t so capable. To get the moon exposed correctly, you have to stop down enough for daylight. But the clouds are not in daylight and they go black, regardless of how bright they seem. To expose the clouds well, the moon becomes a washed out blob. So, no picture of the clouds and the moon this time.
Instead, here is a tree, just about ready to sleep the winter away. It is lit by the light from the moon in this 15 second exposure. Here’s something that the camera can do that we cannot—store up the light into one big packet and see in the dark.