Saturday, March 8, 2008

Red Moon Rise



The day after the Total Lunar Eclipse was perfectly clear, a good time to try and capture a 98% of Full Moon Rise. The Moon was scheduled to rise at 7:40 pm, a perfect time, just the right darkness. So I head out to my dark location on the outskirts of the city. I'm driving along and there is a truck in front of me. Just up ahead of us is my little pull off the road area where I usually park my car and set up to take pics. We are getting closer and the truck slows down and pulls into MY spot, I don't think so, it's my spot, I pull in along side of the truck and notice it's full of people, 2 in the front, 2 in the cab, probably up to no good. As I'm pulling in they're all staring at me, and I'm staring back at them, its a stare down, people this is my spot and I'm staying, not leaving. So after what seems like an eternity the driver says something like fine, but not fine and speeds out, I win.



So I get out of my car, only after I can no longer see their truck and set up my tripod and look to the east for what I hoped to be a red Moon Rise. A little bit of background on the color of the Moon at rising. During the day the Sun heats the Earth causing turbulence which creates or lifts more dust into the lower atmosphere, this dust scatters the blues and allows the reds of the Sunlight or Moonlight through to be viewed by the observer here on Earth, that's also why Sunsets are generally more colorful then Sunrises.



Back to the story, I notice that the Moon is starting to rise, but behind a bunch of trees, good news it is going to be red, bad news, by the time it gets over the trees it will no longer be red, so I have to pack up and leave my hard fought for spot to find an area off the side of the road to get the proper angle to image the red Moon. I find a spot, of course there is no place to pull over except for the ditch so I keep the car running with the parking lights on to prevent people from running into the car and me as I'm taking the pic.



The Moon is in the perfect location for me and is red, I'm happy and I start taking the pics, as I'm doing all this I notice a truck pull up behind me slowly, crap it's the no goodniks from before, they stop and they stare at me, I don't stare back, that would be bad, I look ahead at the Moon, thinking, should I casually run back to the car or stay there and continue to take pictures.



They continue to stare, I'm finished and turn the camera off, grab the tripod and start to walk back to the car. The last count there were 4 of them, let me see I can maybe take out zero of them, but I am packing a camera and tripod, could throw them at someone. As I was walking back to the car I looked up at them and smiled they didn't return the smile, just stared, I then remembered the driver's last word to me wasn't fine. Finally made it to the car got in and locked the doors, they then sped off and I started to breath again. Got home and the pics turned out great, was it worth it, well in the end it turned out fine, next time someone pulls into my spot, they can have it.


I'll leave you now with one of my favorite Sunrises I just took this morning. I really like the way the Sun lit up the landscape and the plant life at the front of the the image.


43 comments:

shirley said...

Hey, cool! It looks like I'm the first to read this! What a great story! The moon picture is awesome too.

Bob Johnson said...

Hi and thanks Shirley, it was quite the experience to say the least, what us astro guys will do for a pic,lol.

Ruth said...

Oh scary, I don't like that story. I'm glad it worked out all right, and that you won't do that again. :|

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Ruth, I was out at my spot last night taking pics of auroras, but no one else was around, so I stayed,lol.

Susanne49 said...

Woo-Hoo...Photographers are living a dangerous life....right? :-)

I'm glad you survived without any loss of a tripod or even a camera.I never would have thrown the camera to them, tripod yes... :-)

Excellent shot of this wonderful moon.

Bob Johnson said...

Lol Susanne, yes we live a dangerous life us Photo Journalists.

Swubird said...

Bob:

Great story, and your tenacity paid off - you got your pictures. Well done.

The only difference between where you live and down here,is that those no good-niks would have left me on the side of the road with a bullet in my head. Unfortunately, that's what it's come to. So much hatred everywhere. It would be just horrible to get shot, stabbed or beat up over a good viewing location. BE CAREFUL!

Great post - lots of suspense.

Tatiana said...

Bob, I loved the story and to tell you - you really are ready to write a novelmy friend :) Something about the Earth, the Moon, and some nogooders in between - and I do mean it, you are talented story teller my friend :)
Love the Moon of yours too, and envy you for having the possibility most of the time to take such agreat shots, as here was clouded again - what's new... have a great week ahead Bob :)
Tatiana

Will said...

The moon was really that red? Wow!

Be glad you are north of the border. Here in the U.S. that encounter might have turned out different. Although Oregon is a bit safer because lots of people have concealed weapons permits so the bad guys don't know if a mark is packing of not. I don't but it is amazing the number of people I come across who do have a gun strapped somewhere on their body!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks swubird, I agree with you, at the time it didn't seem too dangerous till the end, by then too late to make major changes, it has changed the way I do things, I am scouting out an alternative location,lol.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Tatiana, glad you like the story and pics, too bad it's cloudy there, I've been pretty lucky lately, last night it was beautiful with auroras, have a great weekend.

Bob Johnson said...

Yes Will it was really that red, actually we had a good red one in December which I missed do to work. To get the red Moon it has to be rising at the right time not long after the Sun sets, plus there was a lot of turbulence in the atmosphere creating dust which blocks the blues and allows the reds through, notice how the turbulence refracted my Moon, chunks out of the circumference, gives it an unreal look.

self taught artist said...

you brave man bobjohnson
very brave man
glad you reap rewards
staking claim
shooting camera
make good blog post

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Magnificent photos and a scary outing. Do you have pepper spray?
And this does prove what one will endure for their passion. LOL

You know, Bob, I never would have thought of a *Moon Rise* my whole life and look what a beautiful photo of it I discovered here. :D

Hugs, JJ

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Paula, thanks, don't know if brave is the proper term, but I'll take it,lol.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks JJ, don't have pepper spray, must remember to pick some up next time I'm at the pepper spray store, lol.

Glad you know about looking for Moon Rises now, they are quite interesting sometimes.

AngelBaby said...

Hi Bob,

I never knew you we a tuff guy! LOL! I hope you don't do that again. The picture is just beautiful. I am really glad you got the shot.

I have something for you at my site.

Roger said...

You are the genius of the camera Bob!

Roger said...

Oh and I changed my Icon lol!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks AngelBaby, glad you like the pic, me a tough guy, hey get between my Red Moon and watch out,lol, I'll be over later.

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, thanks Roger, love your new icon head.

Aura said...

Love the pics bob! Glad that you and your equipment survived the creepy encounter.

Anna said...

Bob, this is a scary story, I wonder what was their intention second time around. May be you should carry with you a fake police strobe light, lol, then no one will touch you or yes just give them your spot, lol. Now that's reminds me Peters post, I think you have been bullied, lol. Your sun photos are amazing, and thanks for sharing this story, please be careful, where would I learn all the good stuff about astronomy. Anna :)

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Aura, glad you like the pics.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Anna, I think they were just trying to intimidate, don't think anything serious would have occured, but your right , I was bullied,lol. I was out last night at my spot getting pics of some Earthshine, (perfect time for it right now FYI) last night, made sure no trucks around. :)

The Fool said...

Bob you are so courageous, har har har, very nice pics though, how do you manage to repeatedly find these pictures? Whenever I find a really good scene I am without my camera.

The Fool

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, the fool, as far as finding great astroshots, Mostly experience, knowing when things are going to happen, like conjunctions, Earthshine, use astronomy mags and sites like

www.skyviewcafe.com

to find where things are, I got some shots of the Aurora, I knew the spring and fall are the peak times for them, so I look out the back door everynight, caught a break, they were out, and took a pic, being at the right place at the right time as well.

joderebe said...

WOW! Great shot Bob. All that adrenline and excitement is worth it, don't you think? It's a classic. Well done. Too bad I wasn't with you. 4 to 2 would be great odds with a couple of tripods. Goons are cowards...if you ever do get attacked take the loudest one out completely and quickly. They others will hesitate and probably turn. Hey, I lived in Winnipeg for 6 years and have had many situations to deal with down town. Being a Karate blackbelt mind you helps as well. :-)
~JD

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks JD, a Karate blackbelt, wow,if I had one I would have stared them down the second time,lol, oh and the adrenline was a pumping.

Franx said...

It's a beautiful picture and right moment to take the picture..Great Job BOB...This moon like a women

Peter said...

Hi! This story sounds like it was a out take from the showdown at the OK chorale. You're lucky to have made it out alive with this great image.

I hope you were carrying spare film ammo!

Take Care!
Peter

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Franx, this Moon is like a woman, maybe that's why I like it so much, and will do anything for it,lol.

Bob Johnson said...

Lol Peter, don't know about the extra film, but maybe a couple extra battery packs, they are heavier, would make good projectiles,lol.

Oswegan said...

It's a nice shot, but certainly not worth getting beat up over. I carry a manfrotto monopod with me when I walk the rails. It makes for a long heavy club. But I hope to never use it as such.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks oswegan, good idea about the monopod, one of my security guards has a huge Maglite flashlight, thinking of getting one, of course just for the light,lol.

Kristyn said...

I must say, you're braver than me! I think I would have let them have it, especially if it was dark! The pictures are fantastic!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Kristyn, glad you like the pics, I think brave is the wrong word,lol.

Hope said...

hey guy! man am I glad you were okay. Those pictures are awesome, but I want to see you keep posting awesome pictures. Glad they jut turned out to be toads.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks hope, I love that word toads, so fitting,lol.

kml said...

Hi Bob - glad you were safe! What we won't do for the right photo!

Bob Johnson said...

Kathy you got that right, it is amazing what we will do,lol.

Livingsword said...

Hi Bob;

WOW don’t come by for a few days and the place is unbelievably spruced up!!!! Fantastic new look Bob!!!!!! Bravo!!!!

Wow a blood red Moon, sounds like something from eschatology!!! LOL Very cool!

I thought by now EVERYBODY knew that about YOUR spot! I mean come on its on the internet! That’s Bob’s “space”…..

I have read that sun rises are great in Florida because of all the dust from Africa…truth or fiction?

The friendly prairies…. LOL

Didn’t you have your phaser on you Bob? (Can you believe Word doesn’t have phaser in its dictionary?)

Cool pics….

Bob your blog looks great!!!!!!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks livingsword glad you like the new changes, just something I threw together, lol, Lady Omega did a fine job for me.

You'd think everybody would have read my blog by now, ignorance is no excuse, get out my spot, lol.

True, some weather patterns, usually created in a small part by the Sun, can actually lift the dust into the air and carry it to the States, the dust scatters the blues of the Sunlight, allows the reds through, and you get the beautiful, Sunrises, and Sunsets.

Lol, just added Phaser to the word dictionary.