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Super Moon 2013

I started posting on FacebookFlickrGoogle+ and Twitter a while ago, so everyone knew it was coming…

Last year, in early May, there was a dense cloud cover over the whole area, but the small group of us, still managed to have some fun with night-time photography.

Back in April, we gathered for the Lyrid meteor shower, but did not see anything with the naked eye, but did manage to do a few light drawings!

Early in the week, the weather reports suggested that once again the Chester County area was going to have clouds, and as Sunday approached, watching the reports, I was skeptical.

By Sunday afternoon, I started to see posts from folks wondering when and where to meet, and it was agreed to meet at the usual location, the Boat Launch side of Marsh Creek.

All afternoon, I was looking at the sky, and by 7:45pm, I left the house.

While I drove along Creek Rd (282) heading north, I could peek through the trees, and began to think that our atmospheric luck was beginning to change.

As I turned right on N Reeds Rd, and looked over my shoulder into the horse field, I was greeted with this –

Hilltop Sunset - Super Moon 2013
Hilltop Sunset – Super Moon 2013

I continued down the park road, and turned into the front parking lot,nearest to the lake, and was looking for tripods.

Passing the first group, I did not see anyone that I knew, and continuing on until I thought I recognized a truck, and then I saw a friendly wave.

After parking, I got out of the car, walking over to Dan and Brian, shaking their hands in greetings.

Canoes at Sunset - Super Moon 2013
Canoes at Sunset – Super Moon 2013

We chit chatted as I unpacked and setup.

It did look like a good night!

Not perfect, but it will do, and for the next two hours, I had some fun with the event!

I knew I could not stay out late, and said my ‘goodbyes’, and headed home.

While driving back along Creek Rd, the brightness of the full moon pierced the leaves of the trees, making me think of a quick picture to end the night.

Eventually, I found myself in the small parking lot across the street from the new Minquas Fire Company Station House.

I was about 5 minutes late, but what are you going to do…

Minquas Fire Company HQ - Super Moon 2013
Minquas Fire Company HQ – Super Moon 2013

From here, I headed home…

- Andrew
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Facebook Profile picture for Minquas Fire Company!

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Lyrid meteor showers

Lightning Boat
Lightning Boat

I had been publishing details about this event for several days on both Facebook and Google+…

and I was also hoping, that this being the third time, it was going to be a charm for the Chester County PA Photography group…

A hardy group gathered on this Sunday night (4/21)…  the temps in the low 40s, with a slight breeze… to bear witness to the fable Lyrid meteor showers…

  • Shannon Chambers McMahon
  • Margaret Smith Reif
  • Daniel Potter
  • Brian Arters
  • Andrew Seymour

Around 20:30 PM, we setup our camp of tripods, near the middle of the parking lot, on the Boat Launch side of Marsh Creek State Park, and started to peer North-East, looking for the elusive light trails in the night sky.

We knew that the constellation Lyra would be rising around 22:00 PM, and the darkest hours where hours away, at 03:37 AM Monday (4/22), just before the moonset…

A potentially long ‘school’ night for the Parents…

Group Picture of Light Painting
Group Picture of Light Painting

Light Painting

During the general chatter of a meet-up, someone mentioned that they had sparklers with them… knowing, that I have been wanting to do a Light Painting session!

With giddy delight, we lit some of the sparklers, and started to trace words and shapes in the night air.

With a little further guidance, the apprentices took over, and the light ‘markers’ began to dance in the darkness.

Lightning Signature
Lightning Signature

And we experimented!

  • Sparklers – A tried and true favorite of every celebration!
  • LED Head Lamp into Glass Jar –  Please Post the “Heart Beat”
  • LED Flood Light – The magic marker of the night

Many ideas and jokes were tossed about as folks tried different things in an effort to capture something new and different.

Finally, as the Phillies baseball game ended, the last of the group backed up and headed home!

Light Logo
Light Logo

Once again, no new discoveries in the skies of Chester County, but Light Painting maybe the next big thing!

- Andrew
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No Super Moon – Still had a good time!

120505 Super Moon 007
120505 Super Moon 007

Last Thursday, May 3rd, Nina Downing Cazille posted on the Chester County PA Photography Facebook page, a Yahoo! News story, that suggested on Saturday night, that not only was the Super Moon going to be visible, possibly Saturn and maybe a dusting from Halley’s comet!

There was some spirited discussion on who might attend, and much speculation about the weather, since much of the past week or so, has been very cloudy and rainy.

When I woke up on Saturday morning, and looked out the window, only to find the skies still thickly clouded.

This was not good.

With coffee in hand, I went to the Chester County PA Photography page, and started a new thread, trying to finalize the details for our rather impromptu meet-up, later in the night.

Throughout the day, I kept looking at the sky, and try to figure out which way the clouds were moving.

In the mid-afternoon, I took both my kids down to East Ward elementary school, to burn off some energy in preparation for the evening, and when we started to leave, I was beginning to see increasingly larger sections of blue sky, which was very encouraging for a night of photographing the Super Moon.

By the time dinner had been prepared and consumed, the cloudy skies had returned.

Just before I left, I quickly checked the radar for clouds, and the hourly animation strongly suggested that there were big clear pockets of clear sky, coming down from the north, and would be over us within an hour or so.

Using Creek Road (Rt. 282), I got to the boating side of Marsh Creek State Park, within 20 minutes, and was able to find easy parking because many people were already packing up and leaving for the night.

After parking, I started to get my gear, but hesitated from getting it all out, because I still feared that no one was going to show up.

When I reached the predetermined meeting point, I was very delighted and relieved to see several other people standing there with their cameras!

  • Nina Downing Cazille
  • Shannon Chambers McMahon
  • Tony Babcock
  • Elaine Erwin-Babcock
  • I know I am missing some folks!

It was very nice to know that I am not the only crazy one!

After the various introductions, I headed back to my car, and grabbed my gear, heading back to the group to setup for the rest of the evening.

As the night wore one, we talked about various topic, and exchanged various stories about photography, family and life.

We also tried to identify which towns were glowing against the sky line, as well as experimenting with flashes and flash-lights.

At 23:35, when perigee finally arrived, the clouds were still as thick as when we started, but it did seem a little brighter, which could also have been from us standing in the dark for the past three and half hours.

It was not long after, that we packed up our gear, said our good byes and headed home. In reading the subsequent posts on the Facebook page, it seems that everyone had a good time!

– Andrew
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Chester County Creeks Nature Photography Photostream

Hibernia County Park – CCPaPhoto Meet-Up

After several weeks of ‘conversations’ online, we finally gathered at Hibernia County Park for the first Meet-Up of the “Chester County (PA) Photography” – Facebook/Flickr groups!

What is always very interesting at First meetings that start via the internet, is the real person behind the profile icons!

Also helps with not having to create or bring “Hello/My Name Is” name tags!


We meet at the main parking lot for the mansion at Hibernia County Park, and then drove down the hill toward the “Old Damn” Area, which was already rather full with fisherman.

From the parking lot, we started down the Forge Trail, which follows the West Branch of the Brandywine Creek.

For me, this was a second visit.

The last time that I had been here was seven months ago, just after Tropical Storm Nichole in early October 2010.

On a technical side, this was my first chance in trying out my new Tiffen Digital Neutral Density Filter Kit!

The Kit includes a 0.6ND, 0.9ND and a 1.2ND, and the concept of playing with an additional 9 stops was very intriguing, especially around water!

When the group got to a cleaning next to the water, all the tripods sprung into action, and camera bags flying open in all directions.

110410 Hibernia Park 012
110410 Hibernia Park 012

Not wanting to be left out, I started to look for a good entrance point into the water, and then waded in.

It was cold, was not too bad.

On the way back to the trail, I did manage to slip, and dunk my arm put to my elbow in the creek!

My vest did touch the water, but the pocket liners kept everything dry!

I did not need to lose another camera to water, like I did back in college at Watkins Glen (NY) when my Canon A-1’s neck-strap broke.

We continued down the trail toward the small fishing pond, where there were many people enjoying the day.

Stopping at the small little bridge, we spread out to capture the sights around us.

One vary popular subject, was the small little water fall on the down stream side of the bridge.

110410 Hibernia Park 039
110410 Hibernia Park 039

From the bridge, we head down Lion Heads Drive and toward “The Wall”.

After a little stop, we found another interesting area, which had a very strange attribute.

As one walked from the road toward the creek, there is a large area that has an intense orange color in the dirt and a blueish sheen.

110410 Hibernia Park 048
110410 Hibernia Park 048

Once on the other side of the mess, I crossed a little island, and found a spot.

110410 Hibernia Park 058
110410 Hibernia Park 058

We turned around at Cottage #1, and headed back to the parking lot.

When we got back to the small fishing pound, Jason headed directly back to his car via the trail, while the rest of us continued up Lions Head Drive.

We passed the Mansion and headed back down the dirt road to the Upper Damn Area parking lot.

In the parking allot, we chatted some more, and tossed out ideas of where and when the next Meet-Up will be. Details will be Posted on Facebook and Flickr groups.

From there, we went our separate directions.

When I got home, I began to transfer and process my files, and while showing my daughter my new images, I was able to show my daughter these two images, which I quickly turned into a combination “Poster”.

Hibernia County Park (Oct 2010 vs Apr 2011)
Hibernia County Park (Oct 2010 vs Apr 2011)

All and all, I think folks had a good time!

Thanks to all those folks that came out, and I look forward to our next adventure!

- Andrew
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