Evening walk after the rain showers

The weekend weather wasn’t all that bad.  The Weather Channel was calling for rain for 5 days for my location.  It did rain on Saturday and Sunday.  It rained during the early morning hours like after midnight.  It was just raw and cold  Monday and Tuesday. Raw and cold are relative terms, one day in the 80s and next in the upper 50’s.  On Wednesday evening, there was some clouds hanging around, but as always by sunset it cleared up.  The winds were calm, so it a nice evening to see reflections on the water and to walk around the waterfront.

The Alfred A. Cunningham Bridge in New Bern, on one side the Trent River and the another the Neuse River

Sunset over the Trent River.  There used to be marina in that spot,  Hurricane Florence in 2018 wideout the docks.  Now there are only the piling standing.

After sunset.

The New Bern Grand Marina is on the other side of the Trent River.  Those docks handle the hurricane better.

Equipment Used:

Nikon D7500

Sigma 17-50mm  f/2.8 EX (APS-C DSLR)

B+W F-Pro 77mm Circular Polarizer Filter



I am going to try capturing the Zodiacal Light, which an be seen in Spring and Autumn.  During  the Spring in the Western sky after sunset (inline with the sunset), and in Autumn in the Eastern sky 1 hour before sunrise (again inline with the sunrise).  It best to see them around the Equinox during the astronomical twilight.  I got me a Marumi 77mm StarScape Light Pollution Filter for the Sigma lens, hopefully I will have good results.

Walking Around downtown New Bern, North Carolina, USA

I decided to take a walk around New Bern during sunset on Sunday (21 February). From the Alfred Cunningham Bridge over the Trent River, I took the following sunset photos of the waterfront on the Trent River.

While walking down South Front, I took a photo of the town hall.

Between the restaurants on Middle Street and Craven Street there is neat Alleyway.

The town hall is on the corner of Craven Street and Pollock Street.

On East Front Street, across from Union Point Park, there was tracker with lights on it, which was cool. The picture doesn’t doesn’t show you off to best effect.

Off of Queen Street, along the Neuse River, there is a little marina.

Equipment Used:

Nikon D7500

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 G  FX/35mm (75mm equivalent APS-C DSLR)



Sunset over the Trent River, New Bern, North Carolina, USA

Sunday February 7 was Super Bowl Sunday, prior to the big game, I venture out to town down New Bern waterfront to take some photos of the sunset.  It was cloudy most of the day, and I was hoping to get some nice photos with the clouds during the sunset.  Unfortunately that didn’t happen, the sky cleared right around sunset.  The plan was to practice landscape photography use the Aperture Mode with a small aperture setting to create a starburst effect.

A Spider Lily Sculpture located on the waterfront

The Sunset over the Trent River

Equipment Used:

Nikon D7500

Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD



First Full Moon in 2021 is called the Wolf Moon

The first Full Moon in 2021 is called the Wolf Moon according  to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.   The Native Americans were noticing that the wolves were howl during the winter months, when food supply was scarce. The Full Moon occurred at 14:17 EST. on the 28th of January.

I was lucky to capture the Full Moon on the 28th of January.   It rained on Tuesday and Wednesday, and it was  mostly cloudy on Thursday.  Clear skies happen around sunset.

The Sunset and Moonrise on the 28th were minutes apart.  The Moonrise was at 17:30 EST and Sunset at 17:33 EST.  After I saw the sunset on Trent River, I moved to the Neuse River side of Union Point Park in New Bern, NC. to capture the moonrise. I knew it would take a while for the moon to rise above the horizon.  I plan on heading to Oriental, NC. on Friday to capture the moonrise over the mouth of Neuse River around 18:36 EST, which is at the Pamlico Sound.  The moon will be in a Waning Gibbous  phase at 98.2% full at 18:36 EST.

Interesting fact:

The longest river in North Carolina, the Neuse River Basin stretches 248 miles from the Falls Lake Reservoir Dam in the Piedmont to its mouth at the Pamlico Sound. The mouth of the Neuse River is six miles across, which makes it the widest river in America and the nation’s second largest estuary.

A Spider Lily Sculpture located on the waterfront in New Bern, North Carolina USA.

The sculpture was taken down due Hurricane Florence in 2018 and was just put back in place at the end of 2020.

Then there was the sunset!

And then the Moonrise.

Unfortunately I didn’t like any of the pictures I took around the moonrise.  They didn’t capture the moment.  I am hoping for better results in Oriental, NC. on Friday evening.


I waited until the 10 PM to capture the Full Moon.

On the 29th of January, the Moon setting over the Neuse River (the New Bern side of the river).


Equipment Used:

Nikon D7500

Nikon DX AF-S NIkkor 55-300mm | 4.5-5.6 G ED VR 


L Bracket – 3 Legged Thing QR11-LC Universal L-Bracket 



The Last Full Moon of the Decade

The last Full Moon of the decade was 29th of December, or so they say. The moon reaches the crest of its full phase on December 30, 2020, at 03:28 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time)  or on 29th at 10:28 p.m. EST.

What is UTC?

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is often interchanged or confused with Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). GMT is a time zone and UTC is a time standard.  UTC is not a time zone but a time standard that is the basis for civil time and time zones worldwide.

Last full moon of the decade?

Although it’s somewhat arbitrary, most people regarded the full moon on December 12, 2019, as the last full moon of the decade (2010 to 2019). However person who insists on absolute adherence to traditional rules say that the full moon on December 30, 2020, counts as the last full moon of the decade, and that 2020, not 2019, ends the second decade of the 21st century (2001 to 2100).

Monitoring the skies:

Santa was good to me this year and got me a “Sky Watcher Star Adventurer 2i Pro Pack”, which was very nice.  I was able to set the star tracker to the Moon or Sun setting and the camera stayed center of the on target.  If you are planning on doing any Astrophotography, it’s a must.  PhotoPills is also a handy tool to have to determine the best location for the composition.  The only problem, I would had like capturing the moonset near the clock tower in town, but there were builds in the line of sight.  Also would had like capturing the Full Moon setting on top the Christmas Tree near the Sudan Shriner Center, but someone planted a tree in the line of sight.  I can’t wait to use the Sky Watcher Star for Astrophotography like for long exposure of the Milky Way.

The Moon Phases: 

December 26 – Waxing Gibbous at 91%

December 28 – Waxing Gibbous at 98.9%


Moonset in New Bern near the Sudan Shrines Center:

Dawn at waterfront:

Sunrise at Union Point Park in New Bern:  Not all sunrise are created equal.

Equipment Used:

Nikon D7500

Nikon DX AF-S NIkkor 55-300mm

Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 


Sky Watcher Star Adventurer 2i


Full Moon in August

The Full Moon was on 3 August at 10:13, unfortunately it was a cloudy day to observe the Full Moon. Hurricane Isaias made landfall in North Carolina around 23:10 on the 3rd, 130 miles south of my location.  August 4th was the U.S. Coast Guard Birthday, Semper Paratus!

I need to get out of the house and take some pictures.  I did capture the moon before the hurricane came close to North Carolina.  I used my Nikon D7500 camera with the Nikon DX AF-S NIkkor 55-300mm kit lens, which isn’t a bad lens for crop sensor cameras (APS-C).  The pictures were taken from my driveway in New Bern using a tripod.



4th of July Fireworks New Bern Style

It didn’t rain on Saturday night, so New Bern went ahead with their fireworks display to celebrate our Nation 244 Independence.  I went to Lawson Creek Park in New Bern.  There is a Blue Angels jet on display at the park.  As a matter of fact,  the Marine Corps and Navy have several jets and helicopters on display between New Bern and Havelock.  Havelock is the home of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point.

I used my Nikon D7500 camera with the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm | 1.8 G for the fireworks photographs.  I had my ISO set to 200, and Aperture to f/11.  Some people suggest f/16, but a Nikon article stated f/11.  I used a remote shutter and place my shutter to “Bulb” mode, therefore the shutter speed will vary.


June Moonrise

In June, the Full Moon happens on the 5th and 6th (Friday and Saturday).  Unfortunately, it was raining and the skies were partially cloudy on those dates (5th and 6th).  The normal afternoon thunderstorms in the south.  I took a photograph of the Moon on the 4th when it was at 98% full, but even then it was cloudy.

Taken on June 4 at 21:40
Shutter Speed: 1/30
Aperture: f/5.6
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 300mm
Nikon DX AF-S NIkkor 55-300mm


They were calling for clearing skies on Sunday evening, but there was still plenty of clouds around during the Moonrise at 22:30 EST.  I went to Union Point Park in New Bern, North Carolina to see if I can capture photographs of the moon rising under the US17/NC55 bridge over the Neuse River.


I used my Nikon D7500 with the Nikon DX AF-S NIkkor 55-300mm for the photography on the 4th, and the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm | 1.8 G for the moonrise photographs. I don’t think they were my best photographs, but I haven’t posted anything for several weeks because of the rain.

May’s Super Moon

The last super Moon in 2020 was in May.  May’s Full Moon is refer or known as the “Flower Moon”.  There were three Super Full Moons in 2020.

March 9, 2000: 222,081 miles (357,404 km)

April 8, 2020: 221,851 miles (357,035 km)

May 7, 2020: 224,429 miles (361,184 km)

A “Supermoon” is a Full Moon or a new moon that nearly coincides with perigee (the closest that the Moon comes to the Earth in its elliptic orbit) resulting in a slightly larger than usual apparent size.

I used my Nikon D7500 with the Nikon DX AF-S NIkkor 55-300mm | 4.5-5.6G ED VR lens. There were several people at the waterfront in New Bern on May 7th after sunset to capture the Super Moon at 20:28.  It rained all day on the 6th, so I went down the waterfront twice on Thursday in the AM and PM.


The Full Moon setting over the Trent River, before sunrise.

And again after sunset, the Full Moon rising over the Neuse River.


I converted one of the photograph to Black & White format.  I was able to get a shaper detail in Black & White (B&W).  There were some red dust in the sky, so it actually looked like photograph.



While waiting for the moon to rise, I took the following picture of the scenery around me.

May Showers

So you heard of the saying “April showers bring May Flowers”.  In New Bern on May 1st, May showers brought gorgeous and awesome rainbows.

I used my Nikon D7500 with the Nikon DX AF-S NIkkor 55-300mm | 4.5-5.6 G ED VR lens.  They were calling for evening showers, but I thought I would take a chances.  My original thought was to photograph the sunset from Cunningham Bridge in New Bern, but when I looked toward the east, I show gorgeous rainbow.  So, what does it mean when you see a double rainbow?

A double rainbow is considered a symbol of transformation and is a sign of good fortune in eastern cultures. The first arc represents the material world, and the second arc signifies the spiritual realm and with covid-19 I need all the spiritual realm I can get.

Taken on May 1 at 19:40
Shutter Speed: 1/50
Aperture: f/4.5
ISO: 062
Focal Length: 62


Before the sunset, the rainbow were as follow:

Sunset over the Trent River.

After the sunset, there were more red in the rainbow:


And at Dust:

April Super Moon Phases

April’s Super  Moon was on the 7 and 8.  It started on the 7 at 22:35 and lasted until 02:35 on the April 8.  April’s Full Moon is called the “Pink Moon”.  The name “Pink Moon” comes from the bloom of ground phlox, a pink flower common in North America.  I was unable to take a picture of the Full Moon, because of April showers.

I used my Nikon D7500 with the Nikon DX AF-S NIkkor 55-300mm | 4.5-5.6 G ED VR lens for all the photos at difference locations in Eastern North Carolina.

On Good Friday, the weather forecast was calling a clear skies with winds out of the Northwest, which usually bring cool crisp air with very little pollution.

I capture the moon rising over the Neuse River in Oriental.

Taken on 10 of April at 23:16

The focal length was 55mm.  I had my Shutter Speed set to 1/50 of second, Aperture set to f/4.5, and the ISO to 400.

Stay at Home Blues

The “Stay at Home” order is effect in North Carolina.  I am getting a little bored.  I decided to go down to the water front and front and capture the sunset.

I used my Tamron 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD lens for the sunset from Bridgeton, and the Nikon DX AF-S NIkkor 55-300mm | 4.5-5.6 G ED VR for the moon picture.  My wife caught me looking at more glass for the camera.  She made the comment “didn’t spend enough money on that hobby”.  It’s stuff being retired.


Taken at 19:26 on April 2
Shutter Speed: 1/100
Aperture: f/16
ISO: 125
Focal Length: 24


The moon picture was taken from my drive way.  I notice one thing cool with the Nikon D7500 that you can take up to 10 multiple shoots compare to only 3 with D7100.  Also the interval increase. In the past with the D7100, the maximum interval at 35 seconds.  With the explain below the interval was 1 minute apart.

I am hope to get a picture of the Super Moon on April 7th, but it might be raining in this part of the country, so while have to wait until Wednesday and get in a Waning Gibbous 98% phase.

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