Wednesday, August 13, 2014

In the trail of the Super Moon

The moon is a fascinating subject, specially when it is full. I've always wanted to photograph it rising from Lake Michigan behind the Chicago Harbor Lighthouse. And I tried several times only to find that it was too cloudy, or it rose too far to the north or south. Between the commute and the cost of parking, I eventually gave up on the idea. 

Late Saturday afternoon I was browsing around the web and read about the upcoming super moon.This term refers to the coincidence of a full moon with the moon closest approach to Earth. In theory a super moon looks larger than a regular full moon. I was intrigued.. Super moon was Sunday but the forecast was not promising. Saturday afternoon forecast was clear skies...perfect. In doing some more research I found that if I stood a the end of Navy Pier, I could see the moon rise behind the Chicago Harbor Lighthouse. The stars were aligned. Needless to say I ran out the door.

Nay Pier was a zoo! People were everywhere. I don't blame them; it was a gorgeous warm day perfect to enjoy outside during the last few days before school starts. I walked as quickly as possible to the end of the pier only to find that there was a private event and the closed off the area from where I wanted to photograph. Plan B was to photograph a few hundred feet back in an area near the Beer Garden. I found a place to sit and wait along with some other photographers that had traveled down with similar plans. And we waited....and waited....and waited for the moon. Moon rise time came and went and there was no hint of the moon. Too much haze!

My original intent was too only stay in Navy Pier for about 30 minutes but it took this long before a faint moon could be seen. From my current location, the moon was too far to the right to capture the image I wanted.
First Sign of the Moon
But sometimes other opportunities present themselves. In this case, the Tall Ship Windy left from Navy Pier for a sunset cruise. I was only able to get one image as it passed in front of me.

Tall Ship Windy Sunset
As sunset gave way to night, the clouds moved in and swallowed the moon. I spent some time on a fantastic concert on Millennium Park (along with 15000 other people) and from there walked to Buckingham Fountain. And just as I was getting ready to walk back to the car, the clouds started breaking and the moon shined briefly through.
Buckingham Fountain and Moon
It was a long evening in the city which I enjoyed immensely. I'm thinking that I may try this again for the next super moon which coincidentally is next month. Lets hope that the weather cooperates.