A short story back into time.
As the hunt to find gems on my Hard-drives continues, I got sucked back into time and encountered my first Supermoon experience. Whenever I look at photographs, I get soaked right back into time and can relive that very moment. I remember well, and there are indeed 1000 words that an image could tell. I was so busy with working, I didn't even know there was something up tonight. So, let me take you back into time and share this little story with you.
2014, The Netherlands
It's around 12 AM. The television is on. It's playing some random clips from YouTube on auto-play. The Sun has settled for quite some time now and usually, it should be quite dark outside. To comfort myself I turned on some lights and I was about to close the curtains to prevent my lights to disturb any neighbors that were trying to sleep. While I'm leaning on my dinner table to light another cigarette I started to look outside my window and noticed there was a bright night sky. Brighter than usual. That's odd, I thought. It's mid-August. The sky should've been black by now.
As I was trying to get some work done, I noticed that my phone has received a couple of text messages from friends and family who were asking if I was going to shoot the Moon tonight. Why? I wondered. Was there something special going on? "There is a Super Moon tonight, Ruben!". Oh, snap, I totally forgot. Consumed by work I totally forgot about the days and almost forgot about the occasion if it weren't for my friends and family. I'm thankful for my thoughtful companions.
I opened my window and looked outside. Trying to see if I could see the Moon from here. No Moon, just bright night sky. And that bright night sky was enough to tickle my senses to start the hunt.
Living in a fairly crowded space, I knew I had to move away from the city. I was excited, perhaps one of the reasons was that I couldn't spot the Moon and had to look for it. I quickly checked the weather forecast to see if it would be cloudy tonight. Bad luck, but there were a few gaps that had an opening of clear sky.
I placed my bets on having a slight chance of clear sky. I was determined and didn't care how long it would take to capture it. I grabbed my suitcase, a tripod, and my car keys. As I moved my two legs as fast as I could to the front door, the moment I opened it a chilly wind bit my skin. Damn, that's cold. I quickly went to the car so I could start the engine. Making my way to hunt the Supermoon. Hopefully, I will find a spot where I could see it without any clouds hindering my sight.
Driving for an hour or so, all I could see were trees. With the darkness around me, it was hard to identify any hidden roads that would lead me to a place with not that many people living nearby. In the distance, I saw a farm that didn't seem to have many plots surrounding it. I finally believed I found a spot where I could see the Moon.
When I opened my suitcase, I noticed that I forgot my 300mm on the dinner table while I was cleaning it for tonight. Stupid me, I was too excited and focused on the little time I had that I totally forgot to put it back in my suitcase. That's regretful. I quickly considered to drive back to pick it up, but the weather forecast wasn't looking too promising, so I decided to go with my wide angle lens and do something totally different.
Because, at that point, I already knew I couldn't get the close-up I was hoping for, and cropping the image taken with a wide-angle... that's just a joke and would completely destroy the purpose of a wide-angle.
I planted my tripod to see what settings would work and started to locate the clouds and to make sure to see in what direction they would move. I couldn't just trust my wet finger.
With chapped lips, and no moisture left in my skin. I stood still and waited. Enduring the cold weather and trying to embrace it. Every blow of the wind would tempt me to get back to the car for just a minute. Even though the fact that I drove far away from where I lived, there were still city lights across the horizon, but working with that wide-angle, I simply didn't care anymore, I just wanted to shoot the Supermoon.
While making test shots, and verifying the movement of the clouds, I saw a small integration ditch that got illuminated by the Supermoon. Before I turned my tripod to the Supermoon, I took a photograph of it. I was waiting for the clouds to move away anyway.
I had my shutter set to 30 seconds, my ISO up to a thousand and used an aperture of f/4.0. I love how this shot turned out. For the Supermoon shot, I had the same settings, except I lowered the shutter speed to 25 seconds. This was the moment! It is the moment, my first Supermoon capture on digital film. I became quite disappointed when I looked through the viewfinder. This isn't a Supermoon. It's just a Moon, imitating the Sun. Laughing at my own stupidity for forgetting that 300mm, I just took the shot. And left.
Even though the photograph is nothing like I hoped for, the trip itself was an adventure I will never forget. In the end, I managed to bring home some nice photographs. I never published the Supermoon shot before, and while I look at it right now, it does have that something special an ordinary Moonshot doesn't have. It looks like broad-daylight, except it is the Moon making it look that way and not the Sun.
Something that crossed my mind was that the amount of time we photographers need and take to get a shot that satisfies our needs. Yet, we fail, we forget, we adapt, we endure weather conditions most people would not like to. We all try our best to capture moments of our lives the best way we can. To memorize it, to remind not just ourselves, but others as well that the world is a beautiful place, waiting to be discovered by those who sit back at home.
Being a photographer makes me feel alive. I feel blessed to be one.
If you got to the end, thank you so much for reading,