Monday, September 28, 2015

Super Blood Moon

I stood on the walled lookout, above the gentle hill that sloped down to the Rideau Canal, which was obscured by the foliage of the trees that weren't yet ready to admit we were in autumn. Looking east, the apartment buildings of Billings Bridge were the only evidence that we were in the city.

I set my tripod on the wall and pointed my camera east. Near me, two women had their own tripod, the camera pointed more towards Dow's Lake. She saw me set up my camera and ask, "Do you think the moon will rise more over that way?" Her hand pointed in the direction that my lens faced.

"Somewhere between those twin apartment buildings," I indicated, "and that parking garage."

"Are you sure?"

"I'm 98-percent sure."

"It's not going to rise where those trees are?" her hand gestured in the direction that her camera faced, a giant tree from the Arboretum blocking the view of the horizon."


"Are you sure?"

"I'm 100-percent sure."

The moon rose within a couple of degrees from my camera's field of view, but almost exactly where I predicted.

Thank you, Photographer's Ephemeris.

I watched the moon climb for about 10 to 15 minutes, and then packed up. Watching the moon rise above the trees, climb over the apartment buildings that stood in the distance filled me with joy. With so many lost opportunities for night shots of astral phenomena, I needed one to go right. With last night's moonrise, I did just that.

Later in the evening, I moved to the back of the Museum of Civilization. The last time that I watched a moon rise from this vantage was in 1989, during another lunar eclipse. Just as I had done back then, I shot the moon as it ascended, from the Arboretum, and then moved downtown and over the Ottawa River, to the museum, where I captured the eclipse as it occurred over Parliament Hill.

Just as I had done 26 years ago, so did I do again last night: this time, during a Super Blood Moon.

Except, the weather didn't cooperate.

As I set up to catch the moon, just as it was being swallowed by Earth's shadow, clouds rolled in, as if to say, "Show's over."

I searched for the moon, which would periodically show itself, only to hide again behind the clouds.

I packed up and headed home. But as I left the museum grounds, the moon showed itself one last time. I hastily set up my camera and took one final shot.

In my haste, I forgot to refocus.

There was blood on the moon, but the moon wasn't sharp.

And so I fudged it.

Close enough.

The next one is in 2033. With any luck, I may be around to do it again.

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