Sunday, December 11, 2011

Rise and fall

I decided to make a solo trip out of town to try and capture the lunar eclipse scheduled for early Saturday morning as the moon set in the west.  Since I was going to be up already I decided to try for some sunrise art and decided to do my photography over at the Isenberg Crane Reserve outside Lodi.
All my prior trip to Isenberg have given some beautiful sunset and sunrise photo opportunities.  The only problem I might have would be fog from the wetlands or a low cloud deck either of which could obscure my view of the eclipse.  I arrived at Isenberg just after 5 a.m. and began to rig my camera.  All the eclipse photos were taken with my 300 mm lens and the 1.4 extender.  The lower the moon sank toward the horizon the more it dipped behind clouds.  Just after entering totality around 6 a.m. the moon disappeared for good in the morning mists.  I was able to capture some of the moon's eerie orange glow as it bathed in the Earth's shadow.

With the eclipse over I waited in the chilly morning air for daybreak.  Sandhill cranes cackled all around me as dawn began to illuminate the fog and clouds above the wetlands.  Clouds made for a pretty sunrise as the Sun's orb rose  in the cold gray sky.  Flights of thousands of cranes and other water birds circled above as the dawn broke.

I photographed the procession of cranes and other wetlands visitors as they left for their daily flights until about 7 a.m. and then chilled to the bone I headed for the nearest cup of coffee.

The next lunar eclipse for us is going to be in 2014 so I have some time to warm up and get ready.  Sunrise and sunsets at Isenberg are always spectacular and I look forward to a return trip for pictures of their colorful hues.

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