Venus slips behind the crescent moon during a rare occultation.
Behind the lens.
This is a composite of six images captured at two-minute intervals. The camera stays on the tripod and never moves.
The reflection in Lake McDonald makes a pearl necklace out of the moon’s path across the sky, from moonrise to moonset. I started this photograph at about 11 PM and finished around 4 AM.
Behind the lens.
This is one of our most technically challenging photographs. On the previous night, I was photographing the moonset from the other side of Lake McDonald. Standing on the gravel beach, in the silent glow of a full moon, I studied the moon's path and then stared across the lake. Back to the moon, then back across the lake. Over and over. Suddenly, this image appeared in my head. You know what that meant -- I had to return the following night and stay awake AGAIN if I hoped to create this image before the weather forecast brought wind and the surface reflection was lost.
I showed up early the following evening, took my compass readings, and set up my gear. A handful of tourists overcame their shyness to ask why I was sitting there next to my camera but not taking photos. I tried my best to describe the moonbow that I hoped would happen later that night -- a scene that I had never actually seen anywhere but inside my head. Most of the people I talked to nodded politely and at least pretended to comprehend my challenged description. "You mean you have to stay up all night?!" Yes, I said, knowing just how strange I must have seemed to them. But for this photograph, strange was worth it...
The evening moon set shimmers over Wild Goose Island, in Saint Mary Lake on the east side of Glacier National Park.
Behind the lens
I wanted the shimmering highlights around the island, so I shot an azimuth during the daytime, then looked up in the charts to see when the moon would set just north of this angle during twilight. On the proper day several weeks later, I drove five hours back to this location and captured what I had seen earlier in my mind's eye. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. If you look at the stars you can tell this is a 15-second exposure with a mid-range lens. The crescent moon rounds out, and those are really big waves on the lake.