Canon 1Ds Mark III, 840mm (600mm + 1.4x TC), ISO 100, F/25, 1/40 sec
On the evening of Thursday the 12th of December and the morning of Friday the 13th December of 2008 there was a perigee moon that I was eager to photograph. Unfortunately Friday the 13th came early, clouds obscured the moonrise in the San Francisco area Thursday evening. Friday I happened to be up early in order to drive out to photograph Sea Otters in Monterey. While the weather had cleared I had very few decent opportunities to photograph the moon. Not wanting to get frustrated thinking about my missed opportunity to photograph the moon at its closest point in its orbit to earth (perigee), while earth was closest to the sun in its orbit (perihelion)… translating to a slightly larger and brighter full moon I put this astronomical phenomenon out of mind.
Driving out with my friend Eliya we just happened to notice the moon clear from the clouds with beautiful early morning light. With the moon descending 4 degrees every minute I didn’t think we’d have enough time to get a photo off let alone with anything of interest in the foreground, but we tried. With in a span of 15 minutes we exited the highway, found a spot that lined up a lone California Oak tree with the path of the setting moon and scrambled to get our camera gear out to capture just a few photos of the fleeting moment. Not an easy task particularly when fumbling around with a 600mm lens and a clunky big tripod.
I was happy to get a total of 11 photos in a time frame of 6 minutes. 6 of the 11 photos I consider publishable material, but 1 of the 6 photos stood out. This one photo (seen above) had the composition and placement of the moon I wanted, but on initial take was ruined by birds taking off in the middle of the photo. I thought my total of good photos from this fleeing moment was down to 5. By the time I took a second look I realized that the one photo I thought was ruined was actually “the” best photo of the set. I’m not sure I could have asked for a more perfect thing to happen during my photo. A seemingly static moment now has a breath of life to it and for that this photo has since become my favorite of the day if not one of my favorites from that month.
[tags]photography, stock photo, nature, perigee, moon, California Oak, California, landscape[/tags]