Unless you have been living under a rock, you will know that the biggest and brightest full moon of the year happened Saturday night. This “supermoon” passed closer to the earth than usual, and as luck would have it, the orbital path had it appearing on the east coast right as the sun was setting. Who could pass up the opportunity to try and photograph such an intriguing phenomenon? Not me.
I bundled Lori and Jack into the car and we headed to Bar Harbor for a quick bite to eat before beginning our moon-hunt adventure. The Thirsty Whale on Cottage Street was pretty lively with some sort of Cinqo de Mayo/Kentucky Derby combination party going on, but we enjoyed the atmosphere and the food wasn’t bad either. I had done my homework using the Photographer’s Ephemeris – a cool piece of free software that tells you when and where the moon and sun are going to rise and set on any particular day – so we had a good idea of what we wanted to do. The big questions was… would the clouds that had accompanied us on our drive from home dissipate in time to allow for a clear view of the moon?
We took a quick spin along the Loop Road so that we could reacquaint ourselves with the ocean and feed the soul. We pottered around the rocks at Otter Cliffs for about half an hour before heading to our chosen viewing point… Cadillac Mountain. As we started hiking down the South Ridge Trail, we could see that there were some clouds stubbornly hugging the horizon, but we figured that even if they hung around for moonrise, the views would still be spectacular. I love this trail.
We were enjoying what was actually a pretty nice sunset when, right on schedule – plus about 10 minutes or so due to the low band of clouds – the supermoon appeared high and bright over the Atlantic. I stopped making sunset photographs with the wide angle lens and hurriedly attached my longest lens – a 70-200mm f4. I had borrowed a 1.4X magnifying convertor from a friend a while ago to shoot Sam’s rugby games and had neglected to return it, so I slapped that on too and was now at 280mm.
If you’ve ever seen those cool “huge moon” shots, they were captured with way longer lenses than I have access to, so I was going to have to settle for what I now had on the camera and see what I could get. Using a wide angle lens would have rendered the moon – super as it was – like a tiny speck… definitely not what I was aiming for. I quickly found something to help frame the composition – for those of you familiar with hiking in Acadia, the granite cairn will be recognizable. I made a couple of frames, and then the moon climbed higher in the sky and ducked behind more clouds. Feeling a little chilly, we decided to call it a night and hiked back up the spine of Cadillac Mountain in the waning, but still beautiful, twilight.
Did anyone else photograph the Supermoon? If you did, please share a link to your photo in a comment below – I’d love to see your version.