This has been a great year to photograph the full moon.  There’s been very little fog…or storms to keep the moon from being camera obscured.  I will generally scout a location the day before which gives a good feel for Sonoma County, or as Cathy Barnett (Executive Editor here at the Press Democrat)  likes to say, a “Sense of Place”.

Thursday evening, I found myself on the edge of the Laguna de Santa Rosa on the back end of a trailer park with spectacular views.  I arrived about five minutes late and the sun had slanted below the horizon leaving everything gray.  Picture gone…..

Years ago while taking a tour of the Four Corners region I was trying to beat the sunset and get that beautiful ‘magic light’ postcard moment of Monument Valley.  Hot rodding it over Highway 261, the road takes you to the edge of the Valley and offers a GRAND ( I mean really GRAND) view of the entire countryside.  Screeching to a halt and making what seemed to be a torpid attempt to set-up equipment, the sun had already set halfway over Monument Valley.  Literally, the picture vanished before my eyes.  Deep shadow and bright light.  I didn’t even make one frame.  Disappointment.  Picture gone…

Wiser now, the minutes after sunset can lead to pictures that most of us never attempt. Even if  it’s not a great picture (in my mind)  I always try to make one image of the scene.

An almost full moon sandwiched between two liquid amber trees at the Laguna de Santa Rosa in Sebastopol. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013

-Kent Porter