Waiting for the Supermoon to rise into view this evening, I was driving a golf cart around the course, looking for the best location I could find. The official rising time of 5:26pm had passed, but I did not have a clear view of the flat horizon. Killing time, I clicked a few photos of a great blue heron.
I kept checking the alignment of my shadow, to make sure I was looking for the moon rising in the right location, and suddenly… there it was, and it DID indeed look big.
This was one of those moments that I wish a friend or family member was at my side to share the excitement. “There it is!” I murmured to myself.
Just in case the clouds block my view of the Supermoon setting over the Gulf of Mexico tomorrow morning, I wanted to be ready to photograph the Supermoon tonight as it rose, at virtually the same time as sunset.
I chose a location with distant trees for my foreground, and used my Tamron 600-150 zoom lens mounted on my Nikon D800 and a tripod for a grand view of the rising moon. The moon rose above the trees, directly opposite the setting sun as I stood watch on the Royal Poinciana Golf Club in Naples, Florida.
As the sky darkened after sunset, the moon rose higher above the trees and shone brilliantly showing the detail of its surface. Here is my image of the Supermoon, just after it crested the palm trees tonight, while the low sun bathed the trees in warm light.
In America, January 31, 2018 is our lucky day! If we rise and shine before sunrise, we can witness a blue moon, a supermoon and a total lunar eclipse all at the same time. From our continent, that will be a first — since March 1866. Maybe we should set the alarm clock. (Source: earthsky.org)
A blue moon is a full moon that occurs twice in a calendar month. A “supermoon” is a full moon that appears larger on Earth, since the full moon occurs at its perigee, the closest distance to Earth in its elliptical orbit. On January 31, we will see our third consecutive supermoon, if this is starting to sound familiar.
As an observer, you will be super lucky the farther west in America you are located that morning, as you will see more of the eclipse before the moon sets. I will be waking up in Naples, Florida where I will witness 23 minutes of the 1 and a quarter hour eclipse before moonset at 7:11am. However, Hawaiians can view the lunar eclipse from 2:52am until 4:08am. Get your camera and tripod ready, and find an optimal location!
I will be on the beach looking westward. How about you? I hope you will share your observations on social media, photographers.
It’s fun to meet a friend for sunset on the beach. It’s always a great time to relax, sip some wine and have a good conversation. Of course, this works if you live on the West Coast of Anywhere — Florida, California, Hawaii or any location in the world.
But sunset is extra special when the sun paints the clouds vivid shades of orange, pink, peach, mauve, and grey. It’s even nicer when the beach is quiet and a small egret walks along the sparkling shore.
Green is the color of Life and of Spring and Summer. This simple image made at the Naples Botanical Garden features patterns of green tonality. The accordion texture of the fan palm creates repeated and predictable patterns, while the shadows of the sunlit overlapping fans are instantaneous and contrapuntal.
A prominent international journalist was quoted today in the New York Times, saying, “When things go right, it’s boring.” In other words, he remarked to students, when things go wrong, that’s a news story. As a journalist, I completely agree.
As a photographer, the opposite is true. When things go right, the results can be absolutely magical. As many prominent photographers say, the first thing you need to do is “show up.” You never know what weather conditions or wildlife appearances will do to create each day’s photographic opportunities, but if you “show up” in the field often enough, you will be there when things go right, and the results are anything but boring.
Such was the case when I showed up before sunrise for a wildlife bird tour. In addition to many unexpected and unplanned bird sightings, the early morning cloudscape was magical.
The Great Blue Heron is my favorite bird to watch in Florida. I love the dusty blue color, the impressive size (4 feet tall perhaps), and its graceful movement. The heron typically stands still like a statue in shallow water, then slowly takes long, deliberate steps and snatches underwater prey super quickly. He will often fly if a person approaches him, so getting a good photograph can be a challenge.
I sat quietly in the grass while observing this Great Blue Heron recently. He stalked through the water and grabbed a fish. Then he kept taking giant steps until he paused on the shore. As he stood tall to look around with those brilliant eyes, I made this photograph.
In literature, water often sustains life. It feeds the thirsty. Thirsty humans, animals and plants. In rivers, it flows past us in a strong steady current, often signifying our journey through life. Other times, arriving in storms it taketh away. Floods overpower human settlements and people. It kills.
What does this ocean image say to you? Is it dangerous and menacing, or does it bring you peace?