September Full Moon (Harvest Moon)

"Harvest Moon". Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Harvest Moon”. Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

It is that time again with September’s full moon coming on Friday, September 16th. The time of the full moon is Friday afternoon at 3:05 pm (all times through midcoast Maine), so moonrise that day will likely be the best viewing opportunity. Moonrise on Friday will be at 6:51 pm, just after sunset at 6:43 pm.

The Harvest Moon is by far the most common name for this month’s full moon. Technically the Harvest Moon should be the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox…most of the time (including this year) that is the September full moon, but about 1/3 of the time it will be the October full moon.

The Harvest Moon is the most well-known moon name and it lives strongly in popular culture. Despite popular belief, it appears no larger than other moons, but it does rise close to the sunset multiple days in a row (compared to other times of year). Saturday’s moonrise, for example, is at 7:25 pm, just 34 minutes after Friday’s moonrise. This aspect of September’s moon is part of its origin story as a name, as farmers used the light from the rising full moon to extend their harvest day during this crucial time of year for the harvest.

September’s full moon has other names, of course, either from other cultures that don’t harvest this time of year and for years when it is not the moon closest to the equinox. Examples include the Moon of Plenty, the Chestnut Moon, Dancing Moon, Autumn Moon, and Rice Moon, all names I’ve used for my Adventures in Celestial Mechanics project.

In gathering photographs for this month’s post, I came to the realization that September has been my most productive month for my full moon photographs. I suppose it is partially luck and partially opportunity because of weather this time of year, but I was pleased to see the wide range of photographs from the last five years. Please enjoy some of the selections from this series in this post!

"Dancing Moon I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Dancing Moon I”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
"Dancing Moon IV", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Dancing Moon IV”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Autumn Moon I”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
"Autumn Moon II", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Autumn Moon II”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
"Autumn Moon III", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Autumn Moon III”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
"Blood Moon", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Blood Moon”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
"Chestnut Moon I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Chestnut Moon I”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
"Harvest Moon II", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Harvest Moon II”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
"Moon of Plenty IV", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Moon of Plenty IV”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
"Rice Moon I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Rice Moon I”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
"Rice Moon II", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Rice Moon II”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

August 2016 Full Moon

"Dog Days Moon IV", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Dog Days Moon IV”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

August’s full moon is just around the corner, with the moment of the full moon occurring at about 5:26 am on Thursday morning (all times midcoast Maine). Moonset at 5:52 am (with sunrise at 5:43 am) and Moonrise at 7:45 pm (after sunset at 7:35) should provide great photographic opportunities.

The August full moon goes by many names across different cultures. I love the Dog Days Moon and its reference with the sultry day of late summer, an association from ancient times based on the idea that the rising Sirius, the Dog Star, caused the hot weather.

The Algonquins also called the August full moon the Corn Moon or Green Corn moon for obvious harvest reasons (the English also called this the Corn Moon). I also love the Moon of the Ripening, a poetic Lakota name, that evokes ideas of crops ripening in the field.

I’ve included a few of my photographs from previous August full moons above and below — you can see more from my Adventure in Celestial Mechanics full moon project here.

"Corn Moon I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Corn Moon I”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
"Moon of the Ripening III", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Moon of the Ripening III”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

July 2016 Full Moon

"Bone Moon I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Bone Moon I”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Tomorrow is the full moon for July, which means that there are some good photographic opportunities coming up. Tonight (if weather permits, which it may not here in coastal Maine) moonrise is at 7:04 pm, with sunset at 8:14 pm. It will be tricky to see the moon near moonrise as it will still be pretty bright outside just after 7 pm, but as it rises it will become more visible. Tomorrow night will likely be the best opportunity, with moonrise at 7:51 pm and sunset and 8:13 pm (and a good forecast here, too). If you are an early riser, moonset is at 4:55 am with sunrise at 5:10 am tomorrow morning. All of the time are based on midcoast Maine and will vary a bit depending on where you are located.

I’ve been photographing the full moons for years, and you can read about some of my earlier July full moons in my post from last year.

You can find more of my full moon photographs on my website as part of my Adventures in Celestial Mechanics project. The photograph above is a new one and is NOT from July, but instead from this last February. I just posted a group of new photographs from this series on my website if you’d like to take a look.

Various & Sundry: Independence Day Edition

"Pyrotechnic #261", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Pyrotechnic #261”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

I hope everyone is enjoying a lovely holiday weekend (for those of you celebrating Independence Day here in the U.S). I’ll be out the remainder of this week on a family camping trip, too, but will be back in the saddle next week.

Most locales here in the U.S. celebrate the holiday in part with fireworks, so now is a good time to point out new pieces in my Pyrotechnic project that I’ve just published as part of a general refresh of that portfolio.

Later tonight (July 4th) NASA’s Juno spacecraft will hopefully be safely inserted into Jupiter’s orbit. This is a very exciting mission to study Jupiter’s magnetosphere (among other things), and you can read more about it on Space.com. There is a fascinating video here (with data from the Hubble Space Telescope) with more about the ultraviolet light auroras of Jupiter, too (with 80’s style guitar soundtrack as well).

One last thing…I loved this Elegy for the Arctic, a beautiful piano piece by Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi performed by him amidst the ice (really).

New Craftsy Course: Editing Techniques for Night Photography

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My new (and first) Craftsy course just launched today – you can sign up and purchase the course at this link. The course is called Editing Techniques for Night Photography, and you can see a trailer of the course below:

http://www.craftsy.com/video/course?courseId=10620

(sorry the embedding doesn’t work!)

If you use the link above you’ll get $30 off the course, a discount that I’m able to offer my followers. One of the great features of Craftsy.com is the interaction they facilitate between students and instructors — there is an online forum where students can ask questions, post images, and the like. Please let me know if you have any questions about the course or anything else!

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Harmony of the Spheres

From "Harmony of the Spheres", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
From “Harmony of the Spheres”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

I’m very excited to announce my newest body of work, Harmony of the Spheres. It is one I’ve been thinking about and struggling with for years, and I’ve finally started to crack it. This is very much just the beginning, too — here in my underground lair I’m already working on new variations of this. Using motion of celestial objects such as stars as my source, I’m inspired by myriad things such as classical views of the Universe, music, and printmaking.

You can see the first photographs from the series here, and you can read my project statement here.

This work will be exhibited in a group exhibition at PhoPa Gallery in Portland, ME, as part of the Maine Media Student Exhibition (I worked on this project as I was auditing the Projects course). I’ll be at the opening in Portland Friday 5-7 pm (that’s tonight!), and the exhibition extends from until June 11th. I’ve seen everyone’s work develop during the course and there are some truly wonderful photographs in this show, so definitely check it out if you are in the Portland area.

Various & Sundry: Spring Break Edition

"Codex Natura #17", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Codex Natura #17”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Spring break for my daughter is a few days in and we are heading out tomorrow to visit family, so I’ll be away until Monday the 25th, and I wanted to highlight a few things before I left.

April’s full moon is going to happen on Friday, April 22nd (when I’m gone!), with moonrise at 7:58 pm and sunset at 7:29 pm on Friday night. Thursday night should be good for photography, too, with moonrise earlier at 7:01 pm and sunset following at 7:28 pm.

Good news here in Maine…the Maine College of Art just announced that they are merging/adopting the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies., which is great news for fans of serious documentary work.

My favorite event of the last few weeks was unquestionably the landing of SpaceX‘s Falcon 9 first stage booster on a floating drone barge. I love that they are taking on this incredibly challenging task that is an important step in reducing the costs of space flight. I love the fact that they named the barge Of Course I Still Love You after a sentient starship from Iain M. Banks’ science fiction novels. And I’ve loved watching the landing over and over.

Google acquired Nik (makers of plug in software like Silver Efex Pro and Dfine Noise Reduction) a little while back and everyone was a little bit worried about what would happen to the software. I’d say they should still be worried. The good news is that Google just announced that the software, which used to cost hundreds of dollars, is now free. The bad news is that this development likely means that the software will no longer be updated. So enjoy it while you can, but know that eventually some software update to your operating system will eventually mean that you won’t be able to run it any more.

I’m excited to announced that I have two pieces from my Codex Natura series included in a New York Center for Photographic Art exhibition opening this weekend at the Jadite Gallery in NYC. Find out more here…Congratulations also to Jane Yudelman for her Grand Prize win for her wonderful Frozen Lijimght series in the same exhibition! You can see an online version of the exhibition here.

Two quick notes on Maine-based photographers…I really enjoyed this video about DM Witman’s work…and congrats to Cig Harvey on her exhibition at the Photo-Eye Gallery in Santa Fe that just opened (and check out this interview, too).

The big annual AIPAD show is going on in NYC happened last week and weekend. If you, like me, wish you were there but couldn’t attend, the next best thing is Collector Daily’s exhaustive summary of each booth at the show. Part 1 of 4 is here.

March 2016 Full Moon tomorrow

"Chaste Moon I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Chaste Moon I”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

I’ve been away from Maine much of the past two weeks, and I’m leaving again for next week, so I know things have been a bit quiet around here. But luckily my week in Maine coincides with March’s full moon, as here in Maine the moment of the full moon occurs at 8 am tomorrow morning (March 23rd).

Moonrise tonight, with an almost-full moon, is promising for photography but the moon will be relatively high in the sky at the time of sunset. (Moonrise tonight is 6:13 pm, and sunset earlier at 6:51 pm, all times midcoast Maine). Tomorrow night is the classic moonrise configuration with sunset at 6:52 pm and moonrise just after at 7:11 pm. And for you early risers out there, moonset tomorrow morning is at 6:40 am, just after sunrise at 6:32 am.

March has been productive for me over the years in terms of photographing the full moon as part of my Adventures in Celestial Mechanics series. I’ve included a few here in this post as a sampling, both leading off and below.

The March full moon is of course known by many names across different cultures. One of my favorite names from any month is from March, as the Dakota Sioux called the March full moon the Moon When Eyes Hurt from Bright Snow. Popular names for this moon include the Algonquin names Full Worm Moon and Sugar Moon, as well as the English Chaste Moon and the Colonial American Lenten Moon.

"Chaste Moon II", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Chaste Moon II”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
"Worm Moon I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Worm Moon I”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
"Moon When Eyes Are Sore From Bright Snow I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Moon When Eyes Are Sore From Bright Snow I”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
"Lenten Moon IV", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Lenten Moon IV”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
"Lenten Moon I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Lenten Moon I”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Various & Sundry: Hunger Moon Edition

"Trappers Moon III", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Trappers Moon III”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

I like to share things that are of interest to me in these occasional Various & Sundry posts, but first I have an update — I’ll be mostly unavailable for printing and such in the first half of March. I’m teaching The Winter Night Landscape the first week in March and will have limited availability, and then I’ll be on road until March 17th (when I’ll be far from the printer and have even less availability). So let me know as soon as you are able if you have any prints or other issues that need handled before then.

In the free online video category, the MoMA in NYC has a new, free, online course called Seeing Through Photographs. It is offered through Coursera and has six separate lessons. You can either watch the videos for free or you can pay a fee to get a completion certificate.

I enjoyed this short video interview with Lee Friedlander as well (about 9 minutes long).

There are two upcoming deadlines for artist residencies here in Maine – first up, Hewnoaks Artist Colony on Kezar Lake due March 2nd (I spent a week here in 2013). The Mohegan Artist Residency has applications due March 15th.

NASA’s JPL (the Jet Propulsion Laboratories in Pasadena, a former employer of mine for a semester many years ago) just released these wickedly cool posters WPA-style travel posters for the solar system — for free. You can safely assume I’ll be printing some of these for myself.

The February full moon happens today (technically, it happened this morning around 6 a.m.), and tonight should be a good opportunity to view the rising full moon. Here in midcoast Maine moonrise is at 5:23 pm with sunset at 5:14 pm and the weather is actually promising!

The February full moon goes by many names, of course — one of my favorite names is the Hunger Moon, named for this being the time of year for Native American tribes that winter stores were running scarce. Other popular names were the Snow Moon, the Ice Moon, and the Trapper’s Moon, all names derived from winter conditions here in New England.

Leading off this post and below are a few of my February full moon photographs from my Adventures in Celestial Mechanics series.

"Hunger Moon I", Copyright Jim NIckelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Hunger Moon I”, Copyright Jim NIckelson. All Rights Reserved.
"Trapper's Moon II", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Trapper’s Moon II”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
"Trapper's Moon I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Trapper’s Moon I”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

January 2016 Full Moon

"Great Spirit Moon II", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Great Spirit Moon II”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

January continues to fly by and the time of the first full moon of 2016 is almost upon us. January 2016’s full moon is this Saturday the 23rd. Unusually for here in the Maine, the weather forecast is actually reasonably promising for seeing it.

If you are interested in moonrise, you can see Friday’s moonrise at 3:27 pm (with sunset at 4:27).(All times based on Maine, roughly speaking). You may not be able to see the moon right at moonrise because it will still be relatively light, but if not you should be able to see it soon afterwards. Saturday’s moonrise is at at 4:27 pm and sunset at 4:29 pm making it a very good photography opportunity. Sunrise/moonset on Sunday morning should be a good opportunity, too, with both moonset and sunrise at 6:59 am.

Full moon names for January of course focus on winter, with common names like the Wolf Moon of the Algonquin named for the time when wolves ranged across the barren landscape in the heart of winter. Other common January full moon names include Moon After Yule, Old Moon, Cold Moon, Winter Moon, and the like.

One favorite name of mine is the Great Spirit Moon from the Anishnaabe tribes of what is now known as the Great Lakes region. The Great Spirit Moon occurred during the dead of winter when food was scarce, and the Anishnaabe dedicated this full moon to the Great Spirit, their principal deity. The Anishnaabe also referred to this moon as “When the snow blows like spirits in the wind”.

Here are a few more of my January full moons from previous years, and you can see my full moon project, Adventures in Celestial Mechanics, on my website.

"Moon of the Strong Cold", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Moon of the Strong Cold”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
"Wolf Moon I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Wolf Moon I”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
"Great Spirit Moon I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
“Great Spirit Moon I”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.