Photographing the Moon & an Unexpected Surprise

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My first time around with Canon’s 800mm monster lens, I was disappointed in not getting a photo of the moon. I’m borrowing it again this weekend, and to my dismay the forecast called for cloudy skies… but I wasn’t about to give up!

I grabbed a friend, Ben, who’s camera has a higher pixel density than mine to get the most detail possible, and headed to the only region in Ontario last night with “variably cloudy” skies – we’d certainly need luck on our side. We ended up at the Cheltenham Badlands, as I knew the area was slightly remote and had a great view of the horizon. We were greeted with clouds.

Through equal parts luck, skill and stupidity, we managed to find a few breaks in the clouds after waiting nearly an hour with the cold dark wind keeping us company. Right after we got a clear shot, the rain started to roll in… we packed up and headed home.

I haven’t shown you the picture yet, because as fate would have it I had another chance later that evening. It was late, passed midnight I believe and I was in bed… I looked up at the sky and Bam! There it was lighting up the night sky. The clouds were breaking even though the forecast called for complete cloud cover and rain. I jumped out of bed, frantically assembled the camera, and headed outside to take this image:

I was thrilled. This image is taken with Canon’s EF 800mm F/5.6L + 2x extender II + 1.4x extender III, effectively giving me a focal length of 2240mm. A very expensive telescope. The detail, however, was incredible:

If only I had Ben’s camera to test the difference for this shot – we’ll have to try again some time. It’s amazing how much detail I could grab on an object 384,399 km away (420,383,858 yards for some! hah – inside joke).

Satisfied with my moon image, I was about to pack up when I decide to spin my camera slightly down and to the right to a bright star in the sky, just to see what I could find. To my surprise, that was no star.

I’m not an astronomer, so I have no knowledge of where the planets are in the night sky. Randomly pointing the camera at a bright dot and finding not only Jupiter, but all of its moons was a very fun surprise.

And off to bed I went.


  1. Brent
    October 17th, 2011 | 6:35 am


    No freakin’ way!

    Well played sir, well played indeed.

  2. Meme & Pepe
    October 22nd, 2011 | 4:28 pm

    The default for Meme & Pepe is not working.
    We don’t see the comment. Are you receiving?

  3. Meme & Pepe
    October 25th, 2011 | 6:42 pm

    Hi Don

    Wow . It is so amazing that you got the moon & Jupiter.
    I love all these wonderful things & places that we get to see through the eyes of your camera. love you.
    Meme & Pepe

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