Sunday, May 06, 2012

A super moon and a coyote

Ever since last year's "super moon", I've been meaning to get some pictures of the moon rising over the Superstition Mountains. It looked really cool last year but both sides of Packsaddle road were jammed with parked vehicles last year. I figured I could get pictures a month later. I didn't need a super moon. Nobody would be able to tell whether it was or wasn't. Well, every time the full moon came around again, it was either too cloudy or I forgot to take pictures or something came up that prevented me from getting out to get some pictures. I finally did it yesterday, which coincidentally was another super moon. BTW, I have no idea who coined that term. It's when the moon is at perigee and also full. Supposedly it looks 14% larger than when it's at apogee but I can't tell any difference.

The moon should rise close to where my shadow points.

Right about sunset (the mountains are in the shadow of mountains to the east (the Goldfield Mountains) for a few minutes before sunset).

It was a perfect evening to be in the desert.

As I stood there (I didn't think to bring a chair) watching darkness gather, I saw some movement out of the corner of my eye. It was a coyote wandering by about 30 feet away. That's the first time I've seen one when I wasn't in the truck or Ranger. It saw and / or heard me as I swiveled the camera around to get pictures. I expected it to run away but it continued walking around sniffing the ground. It glanced over at me now and then as if it was making sure that I was behaving myself. It eventually wandered away to the south.


Right after the coyote left, I could see where the moon was about to rise.

I'm disappointed in how the moon pictures turned out. The moon is so bright that if you have it properly exposed, everything else will be black. If you try to get anything else in the picture, the moon is a white blob. I tried making HDRIs but the camera won't do automatic exposure bracketing over a wide enough range for the HDRIs to come out right. The rising moon moves so fast I didn't have time to mess with the exposure manually, but that's what I'm going to try next time. There's got to be a way to make this work.

Not what I had hoped for.

There weren't any other people out there this year. I guess the media didn't hype it as much. Must have been some real news to report. I did see a few people stopped along Baseline road between Ironwood and Idaho. They were along there last year, too. You see the moon rise over flat desert there, which is kind of boring. Click below to see all of the pictures.


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