I found myself uncharacteristically informed in advance of a significant celestial event for a change, rather than hearing of it after it was over. That event was the total lunar eclipse on Saturday, March 3rd.

Even though the full eclipse would not be visible from the central U.S., the moon would be over 75% obscured at moonrise and would pass from eclipse over the course of about an hour.

I thought this would be a truly unique photographic experience and set out to make the most of it.

First I would need a good place to view the event. I considered Galveston and even Matagorda. Not really wanting to drive any great distance, I decided to ask my friend and co-host, Barrett, if he thought the roof of his downtown loft might be a suitable viewing location.

He informed me that there was a mostly unobstructed view of the eastern horizon from the roof and that he had seen the moonrise on several occasions.

This suited me just fine and we made the arrangements.

Cynthia and I arrived at Barrett’s loft around 6:00 pm and before long we were on the roof. Barrett had told a few friends who also joined us. It’s a precarious climb involving a straight ladder to the roof from the 10th floor.
Cynthia and I schlepped our cameras and I carried a tripod. The temperature was dropping into the 50’s with a nice stiff wind but we were determined.

According to what I had read, the moon should be rising in the east at the exact time the sun is setting in the west during this eclipse. Well, the sun went down but no moon came up. It must have been obscured by one of the buildings. I asked Barrett if he had seen the rising of the moon during winter and he said he didn’t know.

Apparently Barrett failed druid school and did not realize that the location of the moonrise changes over the year.

Ah well, it was a good time anyway. I got some great shots of downtown.

These three pics are of the east (where the moon should have been rising) and demonstrate the 75-300mm lens going from shortest to longest focal length.

Downtown Houston
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Downtown Houston
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Downtown Houston
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I just love the Maxwell House building.

This is Main St. You can see Dean’s Credit Clothing on the left in the distance.

Main St.
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As the sun set I pointed the camera west to grab this shot:

Main St.
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After conceding defeat regarding the eclipse we made our way back down and Cynthia and I said our goodbyes and started to drive back home. Just as we were entering the freeway we looked up in the eastern sky and there it was:

Eclipse of the Moon
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I found the exit and pulled over to shoot it handheld. Not too bad, but not what I was aiming for, especially after all that planning.

Ah well, maybe next time

Meet me on the dark side of the moon
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2 thoughts on “Meet me on the dark side of the moon

  • March 6, 2007 at 12:33 am

    That Maxwell House building sure is good to the last drop.

    (Ok, so I’m a dork. I couldn’t resist.)

    I saw the eclipse on Saturday, but just thought it was a really odd cloud covering the moon. Oops.

  • March 6, 2007 at 11:04 pm

    As I read this I notice an interesting series of coincidences here.

    Subject line: “Dark Side of the Moon” Friend’s name: Barrett Today: David
    Gilmour’s birthday

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