Thursday, June 22, 2006

Oh, well ...

I’ve got to get myself a gizmo like I saw another photographer using on top of Clingman’s Dome in Tennessee. The handheld electronic unit showed the current moon phase, time of rising and setting of both sun and moon and even gave the compass point at which they would rise and set relative to the photographer’s position anywhere on earth. Oh, and you could check any date in the future.

It would have come in handy on the evening I wanted to capture this moonrise. I checked an online weather site for moonrise during the weekend my wife and I were in Door County, Wisconsin. It showed Thursday’s moonrise at 5:30 p.m. Knowing that the moon rises about an hour later each day (28 days in a lunar month, 24 hours in a day – it’s pretty close), I figured that moonrise would occur at about 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. Cool. All I needed was to put myself in a location that would best take advantage of the situation and voila! Moonrise photo.

I arrived at the Sturgeon Bay Lighthouse (yesterday’s post) at 7:00 and took several photos from the north pier. By the position of the setting sun, I calculated that I would need to be on the south pier across the canal in order to see the moon to rise behind the lighthouse.

Only problem was, you have to drive about 10 miles to cross the 150-foot wide canal by car. Ten miles later I was 150 feet away in the position I had calculated. I then waited for the moon to show up at 7:30.

By 8:30 I had had enough. The moon was a no-show. I took my camera equipment to my car and was about to leave when I thought that maybe I should take one more look. I walked the 50 yards from my car to the beach and saw the full moon rising through a bank of clouds, and nowhere near the lighthouse. I ran back to the car, grabbed my camera bag and tripod and scurried to find a spot – any spot – to set up for a photo. And this is what I got. Had I stayed on the north pier, I would have gotten the lighthouse in the shot.

Moon over Lake Michigan. Exposure: 16 seconds at f22, ISO 100. Circular polarizer and 2x graduated neutral density filter. Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2006 James Jordan.


Johnna said...

A beautiful picture! I love it!


V. Schroeder said...

This is great, sure you had another vision in our mind, but this is really spectacular.

engloy said...

Great moonrise nevertheless, James! :) I used to have such a "moon-chasing" program on my Palm PDA previously. However, that was before I was into photography!

Don said...

Been there and done that; whether it's a sunrise, sunset or moon rise, one has a very short envelope (so it seems) when it actually occurs - you've captured this one just perfect - another "Points of Light" that would look good hanging on anyone's wall.