I had failed to be out there to photograph the October moonrise. It had been a rough day, and I preferred to stay at home. The moon waits for no one, though.
But before first light the next morning, I awoke thinking it was dawn. It wasn’t. It was the all-but-Full Moon shining through my west window. As it was descending. Moonset.
I rolled out of bed and grabbed my camera gear and loaded up in the dark. Well, not totally dark. Moonlight.
Using The Photographer’s Ephemeris desktop application I had scoped out where to go for this event. It would sink behind Sleeping Ute Mountain if I were positioned atop Mesa Verde’s North Rim. Even in my sleepy condition, it seemed like I had a quite good chance of making it there yet, if I hurried.
I did. Parking at the Montezuma Valley Overlook, I shut off the engine and the lights. The bright moon was the only light I was interested in.
The moon was descending through a thin cloud bank. Good in that it was not overcast.
The wind was ripping through the notch in the Rim. Oh, nice, I thought, so windy that my tripod might as well be worthless as to holding the camera steady.
But once I stepped away from the parking lot, down the paved path, the shoulder of the ridge cut the wind in half. Then even more. Nice. I set up the tripod.
I made a series of shots in the tough contrast between bright moon and the mountain. In some of them I included the twinkling lights from the small city of Cortez below. It gave those shots a lot of context.
Photo location: Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado.
© 2017 Stephen J. Krieg