Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween! In a dark, nocturnal sort of way...

Happy Halloween everyone! This might be a post worth reading or revisiting at night because I'm going to share some nighttime photos. I took all these pictures of the moon over the course of the last few months. Some of them captured spooky moments for me since I was out alone in the dark and others were taken during fun social nights like The Fourth of July. They all seemed Halloween appropriate to me!

This is one of the more classic Halloween skies I captured. I love those clouds! You can see how they were moving with the wind. There are some interesting things happening with the cloud color too. There's this burnt orange thing going on in places. The moon was so bright that night, it's almost hard for me to look at it in the picture.

Another view:

This was taken behind some tall trees.

I love the silhouette of the leaves.

A closeup of the craters. I love my camera!

I had to learn to stay really still to take these. I was using a 30x zoom and everything wants to shake and blur with that much of a magnification.

Some spooky leafless trees masking the moon! I love that Harvest Moon looking color.

A classic full moon:

I took this one several nights ago.

Between the long zoom and some massive wind, I got this:

Not that I'm saying that the wind was so massive that it blew the moon back and forth... but I don't know what happened. I think it was gusting in front of my camera and moving it. Anyway, I like this.

Here is my Fourth of July shot! Can you see the stars? This was one magical sky. That glow around the edge of the cloud! Wow.

A softer, summer sky:

A few more details on the moon. Isn't it pretty when the sky is still light enough to look blue while the moon is out? That's not something that can be said right now!

Here's another favorite of mine! I have a photo of the moon from this night as my Twitter background. I love that orange. It's so spooky and subtle. I actually used my flash on this one and suddenly the moon looked orange in my photo. It wasn't in real life. This picture screams Halloween to me!

Lastly, a spooky porch shot of the moon peeking around the roof.

I hope we get to see a spooky Halloween moon out tonight!

In keeping with the nighttime theme, I have to share a track from the Philip Glass/Kronos Quartet soundtrack to Dracula. Philip Glass composed this music to accompany the 1931 Dracula film. I ran into the soundtrack accidentally a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it. Here's one of my favorite tracks ~ "Dr. Van Helsing and Count Dracula":

It's worth listening to the entire album if you can find it. I actually found it at our local library.

I recorded another Halloween reading for this year. This time I'll be reading you a poem titled The Vampire. It was written by Conrad Aiken. This poem is a little dark, so I thought it would be a perfect fit with my nocturnal photos! As usual, the video is going to stay black while I read.

I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween that's just the right amount of scary!


  1. Fantastic post, Justine! You've definitely got an eye for the moon!

    Have you heard the recent Alice Cooper album Welcome 2 My Nightmare? It's got some great tracks on it, especially Last Man On Earth, which is a hilarious song about the end of the world.

    Very neat poem!
    I got a bit creative on my blog last night for the witching day by writing a dark poem!

    1. Chris ~ Thank you! :) I love taking pictures of the moon. It's becoming a fun challenge for me to see how close I can zoom in and still get a clear shot of it. Whenever I look outside and see a cool looking moon in the sky, I go running for my camera!

      I hadn't heard "Last Man on Earth" before now. Thanks for sending that, because I'm an Alice fan! It's a happy sounding oompah type song. Well, everything but the lyrics anyway. So he's free to swear and stink now, hey? ;)

      I like that poem a lot too! It's fun to find these old poems I've never heard of online. I'll have to see what else Conrad Aiken has written. It sounds like he was an interesting guy from what I've read about him. Oh? I'll have to check your blog for that poem you wrote. There's a lot for me to catch up on blog-wise now that things have slowed down a bit. I'm sure your poem will be dark, given what you wrote for Christmas. :)

  2. Happy Halloween Justine. Hope the winds didn't blow you away tonight!

    1. The October Boy ~ Happy Halloween to you too! Ooooh yeah. Those winds. You're in my neck of the woods, so you know what's going on here. It was insane! Did you guys get that bit of snow last night too? What the heck? Yeah, things were flying all over today! The wind was kind of scary and noisy, so it worked for Halloween. :)

  3. Happy Halloween all your moon pics. As a photographer and an avid moon lover....I can tell you that I enjoyed them all, and it's hard to pick a favorite. Although I do love an orange colored moon as well. My best shots of the moon from this year were of one of the Blood Moons, which was very orangey-red. And I too went outside alone at 3:00 am to shoot those, and I did get a little spooked....but it was worth it as the shots turned out incredible. As for the camera shake....I always use a tripod and even a remote control shutter release when shooting the moon, just to make sure I get no shake and blur. Thanks for sharing these and I hope you had a most magical evening! :o)
    ~ Wendy

    1. Wendy ~ Happy Halloween to you too! Thank you. :) It's hard for me to pick a favorite too, but there's probably a three-way tie for me. I like the first one with the dramatic clouds, the Fourth of July one with the stars, and the orange sliver of a moon the best. Well, I actually like that one with the branches a lot too... OK, I guess I like all of these a lot. :)

      I'd like to see some of your Blood Moon photos! Do you have them up on your blog? 3:00 am is enough to get a person spooked, even if you just wake up at that time in bed. The latest I probably took some of these was midnight. I'd be out there in the quiet concentrating and I'd hear the littlest noise and get spooked. Probably some critter walking through the leaves.

      A tripod is a good idea. I have one around here somewhere. Although, I wonder if I'd have all that easy of a time fiddling around with it in the dark. I guess I could set it up and attach it before going outside. I haven't tried the remote control shutter release, but that sounds worth a shot!

      I did have a magical evening! I hope you did too! :)

  4. Some of those shots are really... stellar!

    I love the really detailed shots with the visible craters. I was quite privileged to get to view the moon and Saturn through the large telescopes at a local observatory. It was a real treat!

    Happy Halloween!

    1. Mantan ~ "stellar" :) Thank you! I'm amazed that my camera can capture the craters on the moon. It's pretty cool to be able to see the moon details you can't see with your normal vision. I like those slight white lines you can see going around the moon in that full moon picture I put up. It makes it look like a beach ball. Someone should make a full moon beach ball if they haven't already! That would be really cool. Or a globe that looks like a moon. I think I saw a series of globes made to look like all the planets once.

      That is so cool that you got to look through the telescopes at the observatory! Wow, you even saw Saturn. What color was Saturn? When I think of Saturn, I mostly think of the cartoon versions I've seen of it. :)

      I hope you had a great Halloween!

  5. Fantastic photos!

    Hope you had a good Halloween with the Sanderson sisters :D

    1. Dex ~ Thank you! :) I did have a fun time with the Sanderson sisters last night! The movie was different than I remembered it. It's funny what I forgot! What had stayed clear in my mind was the witches and Billy the zombie. I can't wait to look at your blog post and see which places I recognize from the movie!

  6. Love the photos of the moon Justine, hope you had a great Halloween!

    1. Raymond ~ Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed them! I did have a great Halloween! I hope you did too. It's nice to see you back in the blogosphere! :)

  7. Nice moons! You're able to capture them really well with your camera - they would make nice portraits. The Top hat and cape on Bela Lugosi is my favorite Halloween costume, someday I'll have to make it for myself. I'm really enjoying my vampire music CD, there is some good rock on there! It'll keep me in the mood for immortality! Although I'll have to try and achieve immortality without drinking blood :) Happy Halloween Haul!

    1. Matt ~ Thank you! I'm very happy with what this camera is able to do. Yeah, Bela Lugosi looks pretty cool in that top hat and cape! I love that gif of him. It's so subtle. His look in that gif would make a neat Halloween costume!

      I'm glad you're enjoying the CD! Yeah, there's some good rock and a variety of other styles going on. Some of it was my interpretation of what a vampire might be thinking or doing - like "Man in the Long Black Coat" and "Walkin' After Midnight". You got a few more of those Philip Glass tracks too. Haha! Yeah, there must be a better way to achieve immortality. :)

      I went on the Target Haul yesterday and had some pretty good luck. No stores other than Target seem to have anything left or on a good sale. Can you believe some stores are only marking things down 50% as of today?

    2. Justine - I listen to metal, but it’s real serious and mean and it’s not really festive or Halloween spirited. The vampire music puts me in the Halloween spirit, which is why I like old horror movies, because they are campy and cheesy and not too serious. I put it on my iPod and listened last night as I went to sleep, I love tracks 2 & 3.

      Yeah, everyone was buying after Halloween and the stores seem to be cutting back on the decorative extras, and focusing on costumes and candy. But maybe that will enable crafters and artists to sell the more elaborate decorations online and such.

    3. Matt ~ There's probably some Halloween metal out there, but I've never heard it. Metal doesn't fit with my idea of festive Halloween background music either. I'm glad the vampire music fit with the Halloween spirit! After reading your comment last night, I listened to the whole vampire album again. It worked well for the spirit of the blog post I was working on last night. I'll probably listen to the album year-round. I love tracks 2 and 3 too! They fit with the campy stuff you were talking about. I would think the Philip glass tracks helped you fall asleep.

      I noticed mostly costumes and candy in the stores too. Especially the candy! The candy hasn't been marked down all that much yet. I guess the stores know that more people are willing to buy after holiday candy than after holiday decor, costumes, etc. I ended up at Michaels today and found a few things. Their Halloween stuff is at 80% off now. My kind of deals! :)

      I know what you mean about mass produced decorative items. I see things going in the direction where people will want more one of a kind pieces. A lot of what I see in the stores decoration-wise is boring. But maybe it's just not my taste. :)