Catch the Moon

I have been using the moon as a model a lot, but I find it is not as cooperative as I expected.  While, like a model, it’s a heavenly body, unlike a model, it presents itself on a predictable schedule.  As such, you would think it would be easy to schedule a shoot.  However, I have learned that a) there is such a thing as cloud cover, b) the moon doesn’t always rise before I go to bed, c) the moon often rises out of sight from where I am looking.

As a result, I have started to worry more about missing the shots of the moon rising behind the Walnut Street bridge in August.  I now wonder if perhaps that was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I missed.

Now that I have a lunar calendar that tells me what time the moon rises, a good tripod, and the ideal composition in mind, I just need the moon to return to it’s former position in the sky.  In doing a little research, I found for planning outdoor shoots in advance and even tools to figure out where the moon will rise and the path it will travel.  (Maybe we can all be Ansel Adams after all?)

However, this doesn’t answer my question as to how long it will be before the moon rises in the same location.  I am having some troubles finding an answer to this.  I have found articles on the difference in appearance of the moon at apogee vs perigee, the repeating cycle of maxima and minima delineation that takes 18 1/2 years, and calculating the differences in brightness, but I still can’t find how long it takes for the moon to rise in the same location.  I’m guessing that it will repeat within my lifetime, but probably not soon.  In the meantime, I keep watching the moon when it chooses to show itself and looking for opportunities to shoot it rising.

The shot here is a full moon rising through clouds, shot with my iPhone (which was convinced it needed to flash) from a rest area while driving back to Chattanooga from Columbus.  While this looks more like something I might, say, paint during a continuing education class on impressionist painting, I am still impressed by the improvements in the iPhone camera from the 3GS to the 4S–just don’t expect to get good landscape photos at night.

I am particularly impressed with the LCD flash on the iPhone 4S.  I was a little surprised by how brightly it flashed when I took a picture, but when I discovered the flashlight app now has a setting that lets you turn on the LCD light continuously to use it as a flashlight, I was amazed.  I was able to find my workout clothes in the dark this morning and successfully determined the difference between black and dark purple.  If you haven’t upgraded, it’s time.