Photographing The Unknown – How I managed to photograph, the Moon, Venus, Jupiter and Mercury, without knowing it.

Yesterday I spent the day out with my family at Paraparumu beach which is part of the idyllic Kapiti Coast on the Lower West Coast of the North Island, New Zealand.

The long flat coastline is perfect for a day out with the family and to walk our dog, the coast also features the iconic Kapiti Island which is a prominent subject for anyone who likes to take photos.

We were at the beach around sunset, the sunset was a bit of a fizzer, the tide was right out, and the sky was a bit clear for anything dramatic.

After the sun had gone down and my wife and I were starting to discuss dinner plans.

I soon noticed a slither of the Moon, coming to light as day turned twilight.

There were very bright stars close to the moon which lent me to want to postpone dinner and start shooting.

I after a bit of scouting I found my way to a water way which lead out to the beach, this would be my spot.

For the day I had been posting the odd pic and video on my Instagram Story including one of  the emerging moon and its accompanying ‘stars’. Until an Instagram buddy Kunal, replied back to say that what I was seeing was an alignment of the Moon, Venus, Jupiter and Mercury.

I did my best to take the best shot I could and was happy with my composition I found, I researched the event when I arrived home and feel very happy that I was in the right place at the right time.

Photography Specs
Fujifilm XT1 + Fujinon 18-55mm @ 35mm

F4, 10 sec, ISO 200

Editing, Lightroom

The Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Mercury taken at Paraparaumu Beach, New Zealand
The Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Mercury taken at Paraparaumu Beach, New Zealand
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WHAT I LEARNED PHOTOGRAPHING ARTSPLASH 2016 IN WELLINGTON

Last night, my son Justin participated as part of the choir for the Music and Wearable arts performance at Artsplash 2016, at the Michael Fowler centre in Wellington.

This was the first time I had attended such an event, first time at the Michael Fowler centre and one of the first indoor events I have photographed since starting to learn photography not so long ago.

As a parent I took along my camera to try and get some shots of my son, at his first performance event, it was not my intention to go in full photography mode and do my best to capture the event. But I was quickly inspired.

The theatre was quite full, we arrived on time (ok I admit we were almost late) and picked our seats, near the back, to settle ourselves in for the performance. I then spotted that there was no one seated in the front rows, this had me curious.

The performances starting to begin I picked my moment, camera in hand, adjusted my settings and headed to the front row of seats to see if I could get a better shot of my son and find out why no one was sitting there. Were the seats reserved? Were there important people meant to be there and they were just fashionably late? gosh I don’t know, I digress.

QUICK PHOTOGRAPHY BIT

I run a Fujifilm XT1 and I brought along the Fujinon XF 18-55mm, so with limited telephoto capability from the back rows, I needed to move closer to the action to get the tighter shots but I had just enough width to be able to get the whole stage and the full choir.

I manually adjusted my settings to a shutter speed of 1/250th – 1/60th and had my ISO between 2000 – 1600 and had my aperture between 4-5.

BACK TO THE SHOW…

So the performances started and I soon realised the front row was most likely empty as the stage was quite high, it was ok though and leant itself to some good low angle opportunities.

Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand

As I dotted around I was happily clicking my shutter to performances of musical numbers such as a star wars style composition and the theme song from James Bond.

The performance I saw included a combination of Choir, Orchestra and an awesome display of wearable arts. The students who participated came from Primary and Intermediate Schools of the wider Wellington Region including schools from Wairarapa and Kapiti Coast. Students were accompanied by Wellington’s Sinfonietta Orchestra, Chilton Amadeus Orchestra and the Artsplash Festival Band.

Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand

I was really impressed by this event, I learned that artsplash has been running for 29 years, which is super impressive (When I learn the age of events such as this I always wonder what the first ones are like) and I feel artsplash as an event showcasing young people being creative and honouring the arts it is a real fine piece of art as a whole for Wellington.

My son did a super awesome job I am a very proud Dad!

Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand
My son is in there somewhere! Artsplash 2016 Wellington New Zealand

 

QUICK PHOTOGRAPHY BIT

As one of my first indoor events I was really happy with the outcome, I feel there was enough available light on stage to capture what I saw without having to go too far on the ISO and not have just blur and blackness.

Thanks for reading!

Feel free to share!

Did you go to Artsplash?

Are these any of your students or kids in these shots?

Hi-res images are available on request please feel free to email me on philip.windley@gmail.com