Easy Monday

About a month ago, I included a photo of a blurry near-full moon and a tree branch in fine focus. I mentioned that it was supposed to be the other way ‘round. Several people commented that they liked the photo the way it was.


That left me wondering what to do if I ever got the photo I wanted. Well, that time has come and I figured that I can give myself more time to work on the post I’m struggling with at the moment, and give you and my editor a break from reading.

Here’s the photo from last month.

moon & tree
Yeah, the moon was supposed to be in focus and the tree was supposed to be blurry.

The gallery below has the photos from this month, and a similar study of focus with moon and birds. You can let me know in a comment, or, if you want to get out before the next full moon, you can register your opinion in the poll below the gallery.

If you want to know why these photos turn out the way they do, consider the following: I am using a point & shoot camera, zoomed in pretty far. I’m attached to an Irish Setter who is fascinated by every moving thing, every sound, every smell and every person, squirrel, bird and bunny that is or recently has been near our spot. Thanks for stopping by.


  1. Hihih, your poll is a no-brainer! MADDIE!!! Also, I think the moon is too far for a point-and-shoot to get a proper auto-focus on it, no? Anyway, I support all such explorations and am always surprised how my Nikon chooses its auto-focusing preferences. As for the starling, couldn’t the other one be one as well?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, I knew it. I should have included a photo of the pup, but the animals have been stealing the show here lately. I didn’t see any images for brownish-gray starling. There’s a couple bird gurus that visit here, maybe one will set me straight. The moon is a bit of a stretch for a point and shoot. I tend to focus on the moon alone and then move to include the tree.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You can choose more than one option, Judy. I knew Maddie would steal the votes from the sky shots. I’m pretty sure where this poll will end up :)

      This will be a short week, lots of Maddie-time coming up.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the moon photos either way, but I like Birds on a Wire best. There are some great shots here despite the absence of Maddie…but always remember photos of most objects and adults can never take the place of animals and small children.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mary. I sense Maddie nodding in agreement. Sometimes I think she’s trying to tell me not to waste my time trying to get a good picture of a tree, when I could put her floppy-eared mug out here and get a couple of dozen ‘aws’ in a heartbeat.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. The choice depends on whether the birds are the focus of the picture or the moon is the focus. That is purely subjective depending on the photographer’s intent. I sense you were very interested in the moon and how to present it best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The moon in focus was what I wanted back in July. Then I wasn’t sure, because I did like the fuzzy-moon photo. After I managed to get what I thought I wanted, I still wasn’t sure. I guess it doesn’t matter. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great shots, Dan, especially considering they were done one-handed, with an auto-focus camera, and with your arm being pulled by an impatient dog. However, I did vote for more Maddie shots. No offense!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. All the photos look great, Dan. While I think I do prefer the idea you were originally going for — in-focus moon, blurry trees — I really do enjoy the composition of that original photo the best. Everything nice and closely cropped. So the “perfect pic” for me would have been the original shot with reversed focus/blur! But all the pics are excellent. The photo of the Starlings with the moon is a great one too. And I agree with your first commenter — both are Starlings! The brown one is either still an adolescent or I think he’s just getting his fall coat a bit earlier than the other one. I believe the sleek black is for summer and breeding time!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Wendy. Let me see if I have this straight. The photo you like the best is the one I wanted but never got. OK, I’ll work with that :)

      Thanks for the info on the Starling. My wife suggested that it might also be a starling, but we didn’t think of the color changing. Sheesh, birds are pretty hard to figure out.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha! Yes, sorry, Dan, I guess that’s exactly what I was saying — which, hearing it said back, makes it sound not so nice. Sorry! ;P And yes, birds can be little tricksters. Both with seasonal colour changes AND the ones where males and females can look totally different!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Great images and Poll! I always enjoy seeing a series of images that worked or didn’t and reading the photographer’s thought process.

    Auto-focus has a mind of it’s own add to that camera limitations and you may not get the shot you were hoping for. If you’re camera has scene modes that you can get to while letting Maddie sniff around with you being stationary the Mountain mode meaning farthest distance shots -infinity- all should be in focus front to back in that mode. Try it out!
    Scene modes in Point & Shoots can be used to cheat the cameras not mind…but programming quite often.

    That get you can make these kinds of images one handed while being pulled by a mid-sized dog is quite amazing! I wouldn’t be able to do it. I can’t even do that with my iPhone!

    I voted for the in -focus moon with bushes. I loved the branches framing the moon, and the Twilight Moon image. Good work!

    Images of Maddie should be included often. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Deborah. Maddie has been pretty good lately, and the timing was better in August than July, since the photos were taken on the return trip. Stopping her before we get to the park is asking for trouble/tugging. I never thought to try the mountain mode. I’ll have to give that a try. I also need to get comfortable with the manual settings on this camera. I’m tired of “getting close” and fixing it in software. I’ll save that for when I’m without the pooch, as I almost need two hands to make the adjustments.

      Thanks also for the comment on the Starlings photo.


      1. Ah, yes, the return trips are always on a much calmer pace with Diva Dog as well. :)

        If you’re camera has Manual Mode that’s my preferred mode of shooting, but the semi-automatic modes A, S, and P give you much more accurate results than Auto everything mode, and using one hand are quicker as you’d do less thinking and adjusting. The camera would do that for you. . In a pinch using the preset Scene modes can get you closer than Auto can.
        Have fun experimenting with Mountain Mode!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I have had good luck with A and S mode, as the adjustment is done from one wheel that is easy to move while holding camera with one hand. The other problem I have is, that when the sun is rising (which is when I’m walking Maddie) it’s so hard to see the screen. Back in the days of shoot-film-and-wait-a-week-to-see-if-you-were-right photography, I was in front of the camera and my wife was taking the pictures. I can’t imagine if each one of these was costing me something :)

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I know isn’t Digital wonderful for that!

            As for the dreaded, “can’t see the screen” dilemma you could rig up something with a loupe like this one.

            straps to hold it on:

            I have the loupe and it’s wonderful! I use it mostly at night. I should add the straps.

            I haven’t researched any other model or brand, but by now there might be other brands and sizes on the market.

            Liked by 1 person

      1. I was so happy to hear you use a point & shoot because that is what I have also. I find that if I switch settings from ‘close-up’ to ‘landscape’ it will focus on what I want the focus to be on. This is why I don’t get a big-girl camera. Too many settings and too little patience to learn. Good luck, Dan.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Where was the “all of the above” button, Dan? Gee whiz! Makes me wonder if I should have kept all the accidental shot of my shoes (or part of them), blurs of movement when I “wasn’t taking as shot”, etc. ? :-)


    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great photos Dan. It is difficult to choose when using a zoom with no manual settings. I shoot mostly in zoom so often have this problem. Some cameras are able to focus in on two set points byt first setting one, holding the button and moving to focus the other. I don’t think mine does that. I usually shoot both objects in focus in different sets.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You’ve got some pretty interesting perspectives here, Dan. I really like the dark one, that has personality. I really like the moon in focus tight up close up and the blurry dark bird … Very cool. I tended to like the trees in focus with the blurry moon … How many shots do you see that? And of course I voted for more shots of Maddie. Of course I did! I received requests over at Petasl to show more of my cats. Hmmmm…. Animals do seem to steal the show, don’t they? Loved this post!!! :) <3

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Amy. I appreciate the comment. I guess it really isn’t an either/or kind of thing. I do like all of these (I have many that didn’t make the cut), and I will give you guys more Maddie. Between her and Oreo, I didn’t have a chance this past week.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not that we don’t appreciate your shots, Dan, but animals just seem to steal the show. Here I am working so darn hard at improving my technique with landscape and macro and some are asking for pics of my cats. Can we ever win? And oh the thought of you taking pics while being dragged by Maddie is hysterical. Your dexterity is amazing!!! GRIN!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I voted on Monday and getting a late time comment in on Tuesday, Dan.
    I like that the white moon shows up in your sky photos so well! I liked the birds which were in focus best, with still a nice white moon in a pretty blue green sky in the background.
    I liked the tree branch’s clarity, too. The extra Maddie photographs are always fun, but I voted for the first one I described.
    Have a good week ahead, Dan. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You do a really good job with pictures. You and Cheryl are equally good at pictures and I admire and learn from you guys on how to take great shots. Lately I and Sarah have taken lot of pictures, but I’m working on a new blog series, so I thought let me preserve it for the posts.

    Liked by 1 person

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