Photography is a lot like hunting

I rushed home after work on Monday, hoping to get the perfect shot of the Super Moon. Unfortunately, Mother Nature wasn’t very cooperative.

If you haven’t looked up in the night sky the last few evenings, what are you waiting for? Get out there at moonrise tonight. The time the moon rises in your neck of the woods may be quite different than it is in mine, but down by Cheyenne, moonrise tonight should be a little after 6 p.m. And if the conditions are right, you can’t miss it. Astronomers say the moon is closer now that it has been in almost 70 years, so it’ll look bigger and brighter than you’ve likely ever seen it.

That is, as long as the clouds don’t get in the way.

I rushed home last night and got set up in the perfect spot. I was hoping to get a really cool picture of the moon rising over the railroad tracks that run behind my house. Not only was the moon supposed to appear bigger and brighter than I’ve ever seen it, but it’s also slated to rise straight down those tracks. The result, I hoped, would be a brilliant moon casting some ghostly glow on the steel of the rails, with enough light to put some texture on the ties between the tracks.

But when the moon started to rise, the clouds rolled in. At first, I thought maybe some wispy cloud cover would add to the photo, but it quickly became apparent that these clouds were a heck of a lot more than wispy. They were completely moon-blotting. The shot was a no-go.

It was another reminder that photography is a lot like hunting. Sometimes you hunker down in what looks like the exact right spot, at exactly the right time, but the critters don’t appear. Or they do, but the wind shifts at just the wrong moment, and they catch your scent and disappear. Or if you’re like me, you fall asleep in the blind and wake up to the sound of a giant flock of ducks flying away.

I didn’t fall asleep waiting for the moon last night – which is good, because I’d have been whomped by a train if I had – but the result was the same. My well-laid plans were thwarted. Oh, well. I’ll try again tonight.