fleeting moments

Moon Venus and Jupiter conjunction

Moon Venus and Jupiter conjunction.  © 2015 John Golden. All rights reserved

Moon Venus and Jupiter conjunction. © 2015 John Golden. All rights reserved


Property Value
Date Taken 2015-06-20 07:12 PM
Camera NIKON D3200
F-stop f/5.6
Exposure time 2.5 sec.
ISO speed ISO-800
Exposure bias 0 step
Focal length 55mm
Flash mode No flash
Mount Tripod


At last. Here is my image of the conjunction between the moon (the very bright object near the center), Venus (the bright star near the bottom) and Jupiter with two of it’s moons (the bright star top right, with one of it’s moons visible just below it and another fainter one just above it).

I took several photographs that evening, trying to get the perfect exposure of this unusual and special scene. Then after several exposures I decided that I would rather expose for Jupiter’s moons. Well, I knew that this would mean the planets and our moon would be severely over exposed I went ahead and took the shots anyway.

Also, I knew that trying to get shots in the can of Jupiter’s moons with a standard 18-55mm lens during dusk in the polluted Pretoria city sky while the moon was nearby and pretty bright would be a challenge… And that is exactly why I went ahead and did it. I loved the idea of the challenge.

I was happy with a few of my attempts I made and decided to process them. Naturally they required some post processing such as cropping of the original image to have the subjects stand out more, darkening the sky to create more contrast and a process to reduce the intensity of the light emitted by Jupiter, Venus and the Moon.

Even though I had taken images of the moon that were well exposed and look great on their own, I decided not to superimpose them into the photograph to replace the over exposed one because I felt that it would detract from the planes and Jupiter’s moons and the image would loose it’s charm, also, one would not be able to see the shaded half of the moon. This is the part of the moon that is not so intensely over exposed in this photograph. This part of the moon is not receiving light from the sun but is receiving sun light which is reflected from the the earth’s surface… Much as we receive moon light at night which is a reflection of the sun’s light to us.

You can see another image of the Moon and planetary conjunction as seen from Pretoria east on my John Golden Photography website.

Also go here to see my another photo which I took 20 days earlier of this same 2015 planetary and lunar conjunction.

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