Sometimes The Photo Is Right Behind You – Punta Gorda, Florida

I got a call from a friend about photographing the Moon. The Moon was going to be closer to Earth than it had been in 20 years. She picked a great spot down on the river. I packed all of my gear and headed down to the location that she had picked. Figuring that this was going to be an easy session, I just took my camera, electronic release and tripod. We had set up on a fishing pier that was parallel with the Peace River Bridge in Punta Gorda, Florida.

While we were waiting for the Moon to make it’s appearance, we photographed some pelicans catching dinner. I have about 15 million pelican photos. Needless to say this wasn’t as fulfilling as it could have been for myself.

About 10 minutes later the moon made it’s appearance. I took a couple of frames. Since I already had a decent Moon photograph, this wasn’t my “make it or break it” situation. Again, I fired off a few and looked to see what my friends had grabbed. It was getting late and everyone was packing up to leave, except me.

I turned around and I saw that there was a little touch of light left over the bridge. I’m talking about just a touch of “twilight” left. I panned my camera to the other side of the action. Everyone thought I was nuts…until they saw the back of my camera. I had shot a 20 second exposure at f/8 at ISO 100. What I got was really cool light streaks over the bridge from the cars and some on the water from the boats going through the channel. Here was the “Christmas Moment”, when I got home and really looked at the photo, at the top of the frame you can actually see a few stars in the frame. I couldn’t believe it. All the stars came together for this photo. (Sorry, I couldn’t help it.)

This was an easy photograph to take. All you need is a steady tripod and preferably a electronic release. I shoot in Manual now, so I picked my ISO and f stop that I wanted. I played with the shutter speed until I got the look I was going for. Everyone in our group unpacked and shot for about another 30 minutes. Everyone come home with some wonderful photographs.

At the end of the day…
Literally, at the end of the day, don’t just pack up and go home. It’s just starting to get good. Stay awhile, you just never know what you might get.

Until next time…

Keep Your Glass Clean


  1. Spencer,

    Great picture of the Rt. 41 bridge in twilight. Very nice colors. Good Job!

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