Astronomical Miscalculation

DC @ Night

Someone who I thought was a reliable source of astronomical facts (and knowledgeable of the black magic behind them) said that on Friday, March 21st the full moon would pop up over the horizon and line up nicely with the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the Capitol. You know the view. Now I know this photo has been taken a billion times by many, many other photographers, but did that stop me from wanting to try? Absolutely not. I wanted my own shot of this view so I drove up to the Iwo Jima Memorial with camera gear in tow.

A little to my surprise I discovered about fifty other photographers up there, all with their cameras, tripods, and telephoto lenses, many identical to mine. I felt a little silly setting up my gear next to these guys (and three girls) so that we could all get basically the same shot, but as Ron Burgandy says, “When in Rome.”

We were all ready, fingers anxiously placed on our camera’s shutter buttons (or remote chord buttons as it were), shots lined up, apertures set, shutter speeds set, ISO’s set, when all of a sudden, “Where’s the damn moon?” Someone shouted, “Hey, it’s over there!” The huge orange globe lumbered into the sky about 3-4 frames to the right of where we’d all hoped it would be. I think the term that best sums up our disappointment is “WTF?”.

All in all, it was still fun to go up there and see the full moon from such an awesome vantage point. I managed to get some interesting shots anyway, and can only hope that later in the year I’ll get to try again.

3 Comments so far

  1. RumorsDaily (doorframe) on March 23rd, 2008 @ 10:57 pm

    It’s pretty funny that everyone made the same mistake. Who told you the moon would be lined up?


  2. Max (mcook) on March 24th, 2008 @ 8:43 am

    I don’t want to name names, but none of the photographers there expected to see the moon come up where it did. I guess the night before it was more in line with the structures but it wasn’t a full moon. It was a little clowdy that night so we all thought that maybe the moon was just hidden…until someone looked waaaay to the right.


  3. Monica (monica) on April 7th, 2008 @ 2:30 pm

    I think this is a marvelous photograph. If anything, the moon’s color makes it a more interesting shot. A full moon hovering over the monuments would have looked like one of hundreds of images available for $1 at DC bookstores and souvenir shops.

    Great picture!



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