Sunday, June 27, 2021

Chasing the Moon

Strawberry Super Moon over Seattle


Maybe it started with the book, Goodnight Moon, which I remember reading as a child but I have always been fascinated by the moon and its phases and location in the night sky. Last year, I became aware of the different Super Moons and their individual characteristics (pink, harvest, strawberry, etc) and made my first attempt at photographing one. 


The pandemic of 2020 had taken hold, Seattle had a "stay-home" order but I was planning to shoot a super moon which, to me, was essential. I did my research about locations, rented a telephoto lens and hopped a ferry, feeling like a city escapee. 

I was the second photographer to arrive at the park on the south end of Bainbridge Island but certainly not the last. As we waited for the main event, the Lady (Mt Rainier) stole the show as the sun was setting and the sky turned pink. When the moon started its rise behind the Seattle skyline, it was surreal: how could it be so big?! There was a lot of "atmosphere" out that night which made the scene a bit hazy, but I was happy with the end product.

Super Pink Moon



It's over a year later and I am still chasing the moon. I suffered some serious sleep deprivation while on a photo workshop with Action Photo Tours to be able to get a glimpse of the lunar eclipse from the high viewpoint on Hurricane Ridge. It was visible for less than 40 seconds.

Lunar Eclipse





















My most recent attempt was at a  once-secret Seattle park has now leaked to the masses but I was still able to find a nice spot to set up my tripod and wait. The moonrise was at 9:45 but by the time it cleared the skyline, 20 minutes had passed. There were some children playing in the park and as the moon made its appearance, one could be heard saying, "Holy Crap! The moon is huge!". The amount of light given off by the moon was amazing and could be seen before the actual shape of the moon materialized. Best of all, I am most pleased with the end product - the composition shows the skyline plus the Wheel, the light of the moon is enough to illuminated the mountains in the background and the moon once again steals the show.


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