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January 21, 2011

Photographing the January full moon over Split Rock

Filed under: Events, Nature, Observations, Photography, Seasons — Lee Radzak @ 12:05 pm

The full moon breaking through the parting clouds a half hour after sunset.

The full moon breaking through the parting clouds a half hour after sunset.

Each year more and more photographers are wise to the fact that the January full moon is the best moonrise of the year for catching a full moon rising out of Lake Superior behind Split Rock Lighthouse.  On Wednesday afternoon about a dozen people, some like me who are not professional photographers waited in anticipation for the clouds and frost smoke over the lake to break and the full moon to show itself. 

The sun breaks through

A break in the clouds as the sun sets gives a glow to the lighthouse cliff.

This tradition began in 1983 when Paul Sundberg and I skiied down to Little Two Harbors from the lighthouse (that was away back before any roads or trails were developed in the state park). We had it all to ourselves on those January nights for the next few years. By the 1990’s we were noticing other photographers picking up on the idea and the cooperative and scenic full moonrises of January. 

Come prepared and this is a special time to visit with other photographers and folks who like to take pictures, who like the quiet of the frigid open waters of Lake Superior at sunset, or the view of the lighthouse from Pebble Beach and Little Two Harbors.  Dress warm, bring extra camera batteries and a flashlight, and you are often treated to some good conversation or some amazing solitude and scenery

Not all of the good scenes include the lighthouse.  Ellingson Island in the dusk.

Not all of the good scenes include the lighthouse. Ellingson Island in the dusk.

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