I wanted to play around with shooting the full moon as it rose into the early evening sky above the Santa Monica Mountain Range. Once a year the orientation of the moon and it's phases conspire to allow for this beautiful event.
I also wanted to play with my camera's intervalometer. An intervalometer allows you to set your camera's shooting variables then designate a number of shots desired - allowing you to set the timing between each exposure.
You set it, engage it, and let it go. Just sit back and the intervalometer does the rest.
I've used these devices for years - and they are typically just that... a separate piece of hardware that is plugged into the camera.
The Nikon D4s has a software intervalometer built into the camera's menu. A VERY nice feature.
I used my Nikon D4s on a Sunway Photo Panorama Gimbal Tripod Head (on Manfrotto Cinema Sticks - able to manage the 20+ pounds of head, camera and lens).
I put a Nikon 300mm f/2.8 AF lens mounted to a Nikon TC-14B Teleconverter (1.4x magnification).
This gave me a 420mm lens at f/4.
I did set the aperture to f/8 - I find that with this lens I get my best results shoot astronomy subjects (the moon, star spin, etc...) with that f-stop.
I set Aperture Priority and chose Auto-White Balance.
For the last sequence - which was shot when the moon was too high to get it and the mountains in the frame at 420mm - I took the TC-14B teleconverter off and shot at 300mm - the native focal length of the lens.
I chose to go with pretty short exposures to avoid blowing the details in the moon out. Thus the lights on the ground and the headlights coming down the 101 Freeway from Thousand Oaks to Camarillo (the line of lights just left of the center of the image in the bottom 1/4) were frozen and not streaming/trailing.
I shoot photos each day - if not for work then for myself. Experiment - learn what works and what doesn't. Stretch your abilities and test your skills so you can continue to evolve.
Most importantly, do it because you love to. That's the most important part of any formula that equates to self-fulfillment... love what you do and you'll never work a day in your life.