Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Super Moon Party

I'm not a sports fan. Nor am I a big fan of the human kind. I prefer the wilderness. I enjoy solitude. When I go out into nature I relish in the absence of mindless chatter. The babble of a brook, or a crackling of a fire could fill my need for entertainment. But, when you have to live the life and times we were dealt, you might as well try to make the best of it. I had the opportunity to be in Arches National Park for the Super Moon last May. The so called Super Moon, or perigee-syzygy of the earth moon sun system, is the time of year that the full moon is the closest to earth on it's yearly elliptical orbit. In other words, it's big. We arrived early to the parking area, and prepared food and liquid libation to be packed in, ready for the long evening. Delicate Arch is such an iconic place, no doubt there would be quite crowd, and sure enough a stream of people began to embark on the hike.

The hike is really neat. You ascend up a steep slickrock hill, and traverse a narrow trail above a stone valley. You can see a small arch framing the Delicate Arch just before you arrive. The strange thing is the main viewing area is a natural amphitheater with the arch clearly mainstage, the back drop: the La Sal Mountains. I was situated on the lower front, center field, so to speak. I set my tripod up low to the ground, so I could monitor it from a sitting position. It allowed the upper tier to have an unobstructed view, and keep me out of trouble.

I was ready both with my gear, my dinner and my refreshment. As the evening progressed, more and more people arrived, both families and foreigners. Sunset came and went, casting it's vibrant red glow on the arch. Dusk set in and the crowd began to thin. Then the strobists arrived. And the wives of the strobists with wine, and hors de vours. The atmosphere began to lift and the chatter turned to laughter. It was a Super Bowl party for photographers. Oh well, if you can't beat them, join them.

The strobists set up their wireless rigs and timed their exposures communicating to and fro. I brought some flash lights to contribute to the lighting, not thinking that others would beat me to it. I happily stood my ground and took advantage of their prowess.

iPhones came out and the direction and time of the moon's rising was announced. Soon enough everybody got their shot. We packed up our gear and hiked out by moonlight and headlamps. This evening was quite enjoyable, despite the crowd.

I felt that I had a once in a life time experience. We were all there together, all like-minded individuals celebrating a celestial event. Something base, something ancient, something engrained in our DNA brought us here. We all tried to experience and capture it. Sometimes just being in an amazing place at the right time can make a profound impression. And a good photograph.

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