One of the best things about shooting the Moon this time of the year is that, yes, it stays light so late. And it is particularly special when the full Moon falls on the Solstice for the first time in more than fifty years!
I captured tonight’s mysterious near-full Moon in Scorpio rising above the horizon.
These images were shot using the same bulb exposure (in most cases). I suspect the colors are created by particles, atmospheric effects, and the Moon's path through the sky.
(My optics are rusty, and it's late. This is my excuse, and I'm sticking to it!)
The other night, a near-full Moon actually decided to show itself after weeks of typical Cascadian cloud cover this time of the year. So I took advantage and shot several dozen images in hopes of making my very first real timelapse out of separate photos (as opposed to filming one on my phone).
Now, to find that elusive and unicorn-like 'free time'...
Being an admirer of All Things Moon, I, of course, knew that this weekend was going to involve one of the most stunning (and ominous!) sights known to man, that is, a total lunar eclipse. I also knew that the conditions were going to be good: mild weather, few clouds. This made this event rather different from its precursor that I photographed last October.
Unfortunately, I did not have the time to locate an aesthetically pleasing vantage point to record the Moon rise, which in my part of the North American continent coincided with a partial eclipse. This made the Moon resemble its own crescent, though much brighter and seemingly larger than one would look.
The proverbial lemonade out of lemons ended up looking like this:
Who knew that images of the last near-full Moon, with the setting Sun painting the sky, at an intersection in town could look appealing? Well, I suppose, this is a trick statement: all images of the Moon look aesthetically pleasing!
Tonight's full Moon is the first time in a long time that I've been able to post my Moon photography, well, on time. Of course, the Moon is always different and always beautiful, which means that it is timeless, making out-of-order images perfectly fine. (I might just be saying that so as to justify all the upcoming photographs from the last few weeks!)
This particular manifestation is the smallest, that is, farthest full Moon of 2015. But that does not make its rise over the Rockies any less fairy tale-like, don't you think?
I photograph the Moon often, and have grown selective in terms of the kind of images I would like to capture. After all, my growing collection should be as multifaceted as possible instead of featuring yet another crisp Luna against the night sky, glorious though it is.
Uncommon—to the average observer—natural phenomena, like eclipses, should theoretically provide such an opportunity. Yet there are so many factors to consider—from being in the wrong time zone to thick cloud cover. Waking up after a brief 'nap' in the middle of the night, I was a bit skeptical about viewing this month's Blood Moon eclipse, a real astrological killer, they say, thanks to the quickly changing weather conditions in the Rocky Mountains.
I was wrong—a welcome surprise—the clouds did not fully obscure this cosmic event and, in fact, enhanced some of my photographs. The only technical downside was that I could not use extended exposure times until the clouds dissipated, so as to avoid a shadowy blur. The reddish-yellow you see in the first image, for instance, was naturally obtained through a 10-second exposure.
The best part? Considering the multi-hour length of this lunar eclipse, I got as much of a chance just to observe it with the naked eye as I did to photograph it.
I've noticed that, for better of for worse, most of the time I photograph the Moon vertically. This image of this month's full Moon is one of the only horizontal exceptions: perhaps, it was the cloud patterns or the slight veil over its disc that made it seem just right.
If I feel particularly generous (wink!), I'll offer it up as a downloadable wallpaper in a higher resolution.
Saturday's near-full Worm Moonrise, viewed from the mountains, was glorious and otherworldly: after all, it was warm enough to maintain thick, but movable cloud cover that changed the entire landscape every few seconds.
It's a trick comment: the Moon is always glorious, especially when we don't see it.
When the temperature dropped, and the clouds dissipated, the perfectly visible Man-on-the-Moon lit our way as we descended back into town.
And now: sleep.