The Last Super Moon of 2020

Last Thursday night was the last super moon of 2020. It seemed like a good idea at the time to go out and get photos of it. In retrospect, next time I will go to higher elevations for reasons you will soon discover. I asked Siri when the moon would rise that night, and it said 21:03 (or 9:03pm). I thought that would be fantastic, so I grabbed my equipment about 8:45pm to set up everything to capture the moon. It wasn’t too much longer before it got dark. I checked my astronomy app for the position of the moon, and sure enough, it was just coming up over the horizon. I knew I had time to kill, so I decided to take a couple of star shots before the moon came up. According to my app, the bright star in the center is Antares.

After about a half hour, I realized that I was going to be there a while, because I’m looking at a 2,000 foot cliff waiting for the moon to come up over the horizon and peer into this deep canyon. Finally, I was rewarded for my wait. Three hours later, the moon started its rise over the cliffs about 12:30am, way past my bed time, but the wait was absolutely worth it!

The moon was illuminating the trees on the top of the cliffs just before it came up.

Slowly, but surely, the moon made it from behind the cliff, and it was an amazing sight to behold. Check it out!

I went to bed not long after, basking in the pleasure of seeing the last super moon of 2020 rise over the cliffs of Zion National Park. I found out later that the super moon peaked at 6:30 that morning. It was tiring but fun. Enjoy!


A Photo Challenge: Supermoon

A friend challenged me to post a nature photo every day for seven days. Challenge accepted!  I would like to make it a 30 day challenge, we’ll see what happens.

Anyway, I decided to make my first entry of the challenge tonight’s supermoon.  I went with a friend up to the east side of Zion where the plateau opens up for a better view of the moon rise.  It was absolutely spectacular!


The moon just as it left the horizon.


Tonight I took probably the best shots of the moon to date.

On the way back home, we stopped at the Checkerboard Mesa pullout to try our luck at something different.


These are the cliffs looking west.


Looking back at the moon. I didn’t realize until after I processed this, that I got the Seven Sisters as well.  Bonus!!!





Super Blood Moon Eclipse

Last night, I went out with some friends to watch the eclipse.  Through some miscommunication (or misunderstanding) we all ended up in different places instead.  Either way, we all had fun watching the eclipse.

Just as I got to the spot I thought we needed to be, the moon started coming up over the peaks of Zion National Park.  It was pretty cloudy at the time, so I put my equipment together pretty quickly and started shooting.

I was using my 500mm lens, which is a fixed f8 and manual focus lens, which is extremely difficult to focus on something that you can’t see in the view finder, i.e., an eclipsed moon.  On top of that, I require glasses, and what I see focused in the view finder (and on the screen) may not be in focus for me but not everyone else.  On top of that, I was using ISO1600 which is pretty noisy especially in night photography.  So, as you can see, the images aren’t exactly what I was hoping for.

The crazy part is the images look in focus on the thumbnails but not in full size.  Figure that one out.  Any suggestions would be helpful, btw.

On the upside of all this, I was able to document the entire eclipse from beginning to end.  I had fun and enjoyed myself.  Enjoy.

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