Rushing to catch the full moonrise, I turned the corner onto Market St and got my first view of the horizon, a thin line of orange glowing just over the tree tops. I started running again. By the time I got far enough across the bridge to have good angle, the orange glow had disappeared.
I got my camera set on the tripod, got focused on the bridge, and waiting. Then I waited more. About the time I got tired of waiting and decided to swing the camera around to shoot the sunset until the moon appeared, I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye and about jumped into traffic with surprise. A man apologized for scaring me and then said something about my camera. I smiled and he smiled back and then he walked away. I have no idea what he said, but apparently a smile was an appropriate response.
Moments later, another man showed up. This one with a camera in hand asking me if I knew where the moon would rise tonight. I told him about the orange glow I’d seen. He told me that he was the architect for the current, restored version of the Walnut St bridge and he’d been wanting a picture of the full moon rising over the bridge for years.
We waited together for the moon to reappear. Eventually, I spotted another band of orange glowing through the heavy clouds. We both started shooting like mad.
He wanted a very specific image with the moon centered over a pier of the bridge (or whatever it’s called). I was hoping more for images with people in front of the moon. Unfortunately for me, the moon was too high by the time it appeared from behind the clouds for anyone to be in front of it. I lined up behind my new acquaintance and shot over his head as he bent over the rail of the Market St bridge in front of me.
Eventually, the architect’s wife pulled up in a car, pulling over in heavy traffic just long enough for him to jump in. I was left to continue shooting on my own. I shot as wide as my lens and teleconverter would allow, fascinated by the reflection of the moonlight on the water.
Then, another car pulled over. A third man asked if I could send him some photos–he and his wife were trying to take pictures of the moon with a cell phone. I asked if he had a card and his wife, apparently hidden in the back seat, leaned forward with a car from a vineyard in Ringgold, GA. The man said, “Send us a picture and we’ll send you a bottle or wine!” I wondered how good my picture had to be for a bottle of wine.
It’s funny how people seem to assume you’re going to get a great image when you’re shooting with a long lens.