Prelude to a full super moon – what does that mean, anyway? Shortly after 6:00 am on November 14, the “largest” moon between now and 2034 will officially be “full.” The largest this moon will appear at moonrise will be tomorrow, November 13. Some of us who have photographed various moon phenomena find ourselves a little bored with just a bright full moon against a dark sky. Moonrise tommorrow will happen in light. It will be dusk, but not dark. For photographers, that presents an exciting challenge. Today I decided to practice with a series. All the camera settings are the same in this series. The images were photographed from 4:39 pm to 5:00 pm MST. Notice the changing light on the Sandia Mountains. A couple of frames have birds flying through; I left them. I hope you enjoy this “night before the night before the morning of…” in gif format. It loads slowly, and then repeats at normal speed.
You can use this link to find moonrise times for your location.
November Moon – so many thoughts come to mind. I was aware the year’s largest Super Moon will be full on November 14, but will rise the largest on November 13. Yesterday, November 10, driving home around 3:00 or 4:00, I noticed the moon was well above the Sandia Mountains, and still appeared HUGE in the daylight. I did not get a photograph yesterday, but friend Tim Price posted a fabulous shot on his blog.
Today I made a point of being home in the late afternoon. I wanted to try to photograph the moon in daylight over the mountains and fall foliage. Have I ever said how much I love New Mexico?
A Better View May Be Behind You. Be Sure to Look in All Directions
“A better view may be behind you” is taught in photography classes almost as much as what “aperture” means. Over the years I have definitely learned to look around. I may not always find “a better view,” but sometimes I will, and will often find something worth photographing in addition to the “main attraction,” whatever that is.
The first freeze of the season is predicted for Albuquerque tonight (November 5). Yesterday morning as the first of the storm appeared, we were treated to a glowing sunrise, stormy, with fog and clouds drifting in and out of the valleys on the mountains, separating them into layers.
When I glanced around, almost by accident and not really expecting much in the western sky, there was a rainbow! I’m not really suggesting that the rainbow could outdo the sunrise, but, as common as rainbows are here looking east toward the mountains in late afternoons, they are relatively uncommon in the morning. The rainbow was an unexpected surprise, and a reminder to always look around to see what is there!
New Mexico skies – always beautiful, never boring, and no better view anywhere. 🙂
Middle Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico includes the river, the bosque, and metropolitan Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Corrales, and others. While cities and villages are included, there are also many rural areas, even at times within the cities and villages. I spent yesterday with good friends exploring parts of the Corrales area I had never seen, ending the evening on their deck for wonderful food and great conversation.
These images are not spectacular in the sense of being in any way unusual. These are very typical images from a summer afternoon in the Middle Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico.
This area is known for its double rainbows. It is rare to see a single rainbow. If you look closely you will see that the main rainbow includes a double portion in at least the middle of the arc, while a portion of another bright rainbow is in the left of the image. It was a beautiful sky.
When I got home last night, on the opposite side of the river, I found 1/2 inch of water in my rain gauge. The rain falling behind the rainbows was falling at my house!
It was a perfect ending to a beautiful – and typical – summer day in the Middle Rio Grande Valley!
Winter sunset. This was a two-for-one, with interesting things going on both to the east over the Sandias, as well as in the sky to the west. A “winter storm” is due tomorrow, with perhaps 4 inches of snow in the city by Friday. Turbulence is certainly evident in the sky looking west.
We see lenticular clouds over the mountains not infrequently in the winter. I like lenticular clouds. I also enjoy the alpenglow of the Sandias. It does not last long, but it is striking when it appears. This view, looking eastward, appears “calm” to me.
The winter sky looking westward could not have had a more different appearance, and it is anything but “calm.”
The skies here are never boring, and often are quite interesting. This was a great two-for-one sunset.
Sunrise is a beautiful phenomenon in New Mexico (as I have said more than once 🙂 ), but the colorful part is not long-lived. If one is not up and looking for it, the color could easily be missed. This morning’s was actually colorful for longer than most, although the peak of the color did not last long. The first image is from 6:43 am. The second image is from 6:51 am. Although the last image is at the peak of color, the color was gone very shortly afterwards.
When I first looked out, the sky was quite dark, but a few of the clouds on the horizon were beginning to show a trace of red. That is always a hopeful sign for a colorful beginning to the morning, and I brought my camera into the kitchen, and drank a cup of coffee while I waited and watched to see what transpired (these colors do not always happen 🙂 ). Finally I thought I should give it try. These images eight minutes apart show intense color in parts of the sky that lasted longer than I had expected.
Mountains and light – ever changing and with the interplay being part of the magic of New Mexico, “Land of Enchantment.”
On a glorious day in October of 2014, friends Laurie and Tim, along with my mom, spent a day exploring parts of New Mexico we had not seen in some time. Tim and I were both celebrating a birthday, and the trip itself provided many wonderful birthday surprises.
All day long we saw clouds. Some were big, bright, white puffy clouds against a brilliant blue sky. Some were dark storm clouds. And then there were these clouds that produced some shadows but allowed (and created) rays of light at various points. It was late afternoon, and we were on the east side of these mountains on the journey back to Albuquerque. The mountains from our vantage point would have been in shade, even had there not been clouds.
As we rounded a curve, the rays appeared, ever-so-briefly. We stopped for photographs, and actually had a “rural New Mexico” moment when we met another couple.
Many images from that day had a special meaning to me from the moment they were created. Less than a month later my calm, routine life was shaken by a seismic event that has given some of those images an even more special meaning. This image is one of them.
Snow on the Sandia Mountains is predicted in the coming week. Albuquerque itself has the possibility of seeing some snowfall. Precipitation is desperately needed in the Southwest, and hopefully we will indeed see precipitation in some form.
Continuing with yesterday’s theme that sunrises and sunsets here are frequently very beautiful and awe inspiring, but unpredictable in what form they may take, this is from a sunset in December of 2013. This is the only time I can recall seeing the light of a setting sun on the mountains with snow on them not light in some fashion the clouds above, and it is one of the rare times I have seen fog below the mountains.
This image looks east to the mountains. The sunset to the west had the more usual sunset colors of orange, gold, and gray, and was quite beautiful. A memorable sunset in both directions, east and west.
The overall blue effect here, combined with the light of the setting sun on the snow, created an image that I’ll not soon forget.
I hope you enjoy this, more than a year after it appeared.
Sunrise – and sunset – can be a magical time almost anywhere, but reliably so in the high desert country of New Mexico, “Land of Enchantment.” It is very easy to take our beautiful skies for granted, almost, because we have them so often.
One of the truly remarkable things about our skies, though, is that the exact appearance of a sunrise or sunset can never be predicted, nor how long its appearance will last.
This morning was basically overcast, but a light overcast at the time of sunrise. I really was not expecting too much, but I always watch until I am certain a show either never happened or is over. This morning I made ten photographs between 7:18 and 7:24 am. This is the only one of the images with such distinct rays arising over the Sandia Mountains, starting from where the sun was about to appear.
The magic of sunrise – and the sky in general – in New Mexico.
Autumn is the most glorious time in New Mexico, for so many reasons.
As 2014 draws to an end, a winter storm is bearing down to ring in the New Year. This seemed a good day to revisit one of the spectacular autumn days on the Rio Grande.
The large trees are cottonwood trees. Cottonwoods are found along the Rio Grande, but not far out from it. They are some of the major trees of a southwest forest along the Rio Grande, a forest referred to as “the bosque.” New Mexicans love the bosque, and Albuquerque has miles of bike and walking trails through and along the bosque.
This particular image is from Corrales, New Mexico, and the Rio Grande is just out of the image to the east. The mountains you glimpse are the Sandias.