The Internet is filled with Super Moon photos from last Saturday night, March 19, 2011. My area finally had a clear night and, like many other photographers, headed out to capture the moon at it’s closest distance to Earth. This happens rarely when the moon reaches it’s perigee at the same time it is full.
My first problem was finding a good location facing east. I enlisted the help of an iPhone app called LightTrac which gives times of both Sun and Moon rise and sets from any location on Earth. If features Google maps and shows the angles and direction of the events as well as elevation above and below the horizon. With this app, I decided to go for a very open location overlooking the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge (see below).
The LightTrac app screen shot shows where I was. The yellow line gives the direction of when and where the Moon would rise. The shaded red line gives the current position of the moon at the time. The negative elevation number indicates the moon was still below the horizon. I used the slider to coincide with the time of moonrise which gave me the angle of 97 degrees. I switched over to the Compass app to line up my camera.
At first, I had set up where some trees would have blocked the moonrise. I moved over about 15 feet to the south after consulting the compass. This allowed me to watch the Super Moon rise majestically over the refuge. As if on cue, a male woodcock started his mating call adding to the magic of the very still and chilly last night of Winter.