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Talacre Moonset and Sunrise

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The story behind this video

I just love the way our solar system works!

As an engineer I really appreciate the intricate interplay between the sun, moon and planet earth, which seem to move around each other as if by clockwork.

It's true - the heavens really do declare the glory of God, and I love being out at times when these spatial elements come together in striking ways.

Of course, in order to see what going on in the heavens you need to be in the right place at the right time, and the weather has to co-operate as well, so seeing and photographing significant movements of the sun and moon requires quite a bit of planning.

I'm fortunate in living in North Wales in that I have a number of beautiful locations I can easily visit when conditions are favourable for sun and moon watching, and one such place is the beach at Talacre.

Talacre is a north facing beach, which means that around the spring and autumn equinoxes the sun will rise and set along its length, so you can witness both events from the same spot if you want to.

Also, when the moon is full at this time of year it will rise and set opposite the sun, also along the line of the beach, so over the course of a single day you can watch moonset, sunrise, sunset and moonrise all from the comfort of your deckchair. Wow!

As an amateur photographer, I want to do more than just watch these events, I want to record them so folk who don't have the priviledge of living in North Wales can enjoy them too, albeit in a somewhat second hand way. Nothing beats being there in the flesh.

So that's why I'm stood by my tripod in the dark and cold very early one morning in the spring of 2014, watching and photographing as the full moon drops down in the sky to the west behind the very conveniently placed abandoned lighthouse (you have to see it to believe it).

Light levels slowly increase as the sun approaches the eastern horizon behind me, and as soon as the moon has finished setting I up sticks and run down the beach, tripod legs flapping, to the other side of the lighthouse in order to catch the sunrise due a scant ten minutes after the moon has set.

Sweating and panting I re-set my camera up with a wider angle lens to cover more sky and start shooting again, only stopping at the last possible moment, giving myself just enough time to run back to my car, drive to work and clock in with a minute to spare.

I wish I could have stayed on the beach!

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Video data


Filename - talacre timelapse 05.mp4

Camera - Canon 5D

Lens - 100-400mm zoom @ 235mm (moonset)

Lens - 24-105mm zoom @ 35mm (sunrise)

Exposure - 1/2sec @f5.6 ISO100 (moonset)

Exposure - 1/80sec @f11 ISO100 (sunrise)

Location - Talacre, North Wales

This clip - HD 720p

Clip duration - 23 seconds at 25 frames per second.

Shooting interval - 3 seconds (moonset)

Shooting interval - 15 seconds (sunrise)