Here we are at the very beginning of winter. The first few hours of the darkest day of the year here in the northern hemisphere. Today the sun rose at 7:10 am and will set at 4:12 pm. We live half away to the north pole from the equator in New England. Well, a little less than half way.
However, I know that I have folks in the far north that stop by for time to time. Our day must seem long to them, as long as our nights are short to them in the summer.
This, of course is due to the tilt of the earth’s axis in relationship to the plane of its orbit around the sun. We are also fortunate to have a pretty cool moon that helps stabilize the wobble of that axis as we whirl around in space. This provides some stability as our pole now points towards the star Polaris and in another 25000 year will point towards Vega. Without the moon, this wobble would be more pronounced and radical.
As we spin about that axis at 1000 miles per hour, revolving around a star that is gravitationally bound in a rotating galaxy which in turn is dancing with our nearest galaxy neighbors in a universe that is traversing aimlessly through space, take time to remember that we are taking a journey and that all this motion would be confusing if we didn’t have this wet rock as our home.
What’s my point? You have to think quickly. As I was walking through the house, passing by an east facing window, I noticed the moon rising over the salt marsh. It was blood red with clouds passing in front of it. I dashed downstairs and grabbed my gear and looked for a good place to shoot from. By the time I got set up, the color was shifting.
Shooting the moon is always a challenge. If your exposures are too long, then you will get fringing around the moon as it moves across the frame. If you metering is wrong, you get a big white ball. Do I need the moon to be the feature object or the scenery? All these decisions to make as we are spinning, rotating and revolving through space and time.
The moon does not wait and as I fumbled with my camera in the dark, images were passing by. My fingers were starting to go numb and the moon was now high enough that it was shining white. Confident that I had put some good images in the can, I went into the house to sit down. After all, with all that rotating, spinning, revolving and gyrating, I was tuckered out.