Cinco de Mayo Super Moon

Riding partners Anne and Osa thought the night of the Super Moon would be a good time for me to take my first bike ride since my crash on February 19. We had planned it earlier, but weather hadn’t cooperated. We were going to watch the moonrise from the Lake Worth Beach, but there’s a tall drawbridge to go over, so they suggested we check out a new park with boardwalks going out into the Intracoastal Waterway north of the Lake Worth Bridge. I guess they didn’t want to risk having to tow me over the bridge if I hadn’t gotten my legs back. Click on any image to make it larger.

Boardwalk puts you out over water

It’s a beautiful place to sit. The mangroves behind you muffle the city sounds. The breeze off the water was actually a little on the chilly side. We got there a little early, so my partners talked me into riding back into Lake Worth for a sinfully good ice cream cone.

Traffic was pretty heavy and I heard a car with a bunch of guys in it hootin’ and hollerin’ in the next lane coming up behind me. This sounds like trouble, I thought. When they got closer, I could see if was a bunch of young Hispanic guys wishing everybody within earshot a happy Cinco de Mayo. Dial the Threat-o-Meter back to green again.

Super Moon over Lake Worth Beach

We got back to the boardwalk from our ice cream run with a couple minutes to spare before Osa spotted the big orange ball coming out of the haze above Lake Worth Beach. It was huge, but indistinct until it got a little above the horizon. We’ll go a little photo geeky on the rest of the pix. If you don’t care for technical details, just skip over them like I do names in a Russian novel.

Light turned blue

With the sun going down, the sky picked up a bluish cast. The exposure here is 1/30 of a second @ f/5.6. The camera boosted the ISO to 500 from my normal 200. I was underexposing the photo by as much as four stops to keep the moon from becoming a white blob. I was zoomed to the max at 55mm on my 18-55mm zoom lens. It would be nice to have a longer lens, but I like to travel light on the bike.

Boat adds movement

Several boats went by, but this one showed up best. I zoomed out for a bit wider shot than the previous one. This was zoomed to 34mm. The exposure was 1/30 @ f/5.0 and the ISO was 400.

I love digital photography for the ability to change the film “speed” with every shot. With film, you were committed to one type of film and speed for the whole roll. That’s one reason why I carried three cameras: each one might be loaded with a different type of film to cover every contingency.

Switched to video camera for big moon shot

Since I didn’t have a longer lens for my Nikon D3100, I switched to my Canon FS100 video camera video camera in still mode for a tight shot of the Super Moon. I didn’t expect it to be tack-sharp because I was zoomed way in and using a 1/25 second shutter speed. I was braced against the boardwalk, but the water pounding the pilings caused some movement.

Street lights shift everything orange

Just before we left, I started experimenting with other than moon photos. This shot of the Lake Worth draw bridge was taken when pretty much all of the light was gone from the sky except for the moon. The camera bumped the ISO up to 3200 and dropped the shutter speed down to half a second @f/5.6.

Here’s what the big bridge looks like in the daylight, plus a little history of the original bridge built in 1919.


10 Replies to “Cinco de Mayo Super Moon”

  1. I love the story and photos. I’ve been meaning to check out that boardwalk. It looks nice. But I laughed out loud when I read that “I like to travel light on the bike.” Anyone who’s ever seen your rig would hardly describe it as “light.”

  2. Glad your first ride back after the accident was memorable only for the moon. This morning I cruised several sites posting moon photos. There is something affirming about so many people enjoying the same wonder of nature across one weekend.

    1. I saw so many moon postings last night that I almost didn’t put mine up. Then, I thought, easy content. I’m sleepy and this will let me go to bed.

      The ride was great and the weather was perfect. Broiling hot in the daytime, but almost chilly in the evening.

  3. Thanks for the photos! My sister lives in Estero and son in Ft. Myers so it’s nice to look and imagine they were in that Florida setting also!

    Jane, my husband is retired Navy. When he would go to sea, especially on the long six and seven month cruises, we would agree before he left to go outside every night and look at the moon. In those days before the internet, when it took two weeks for our letters to get to each other, it was comforting and wonderful to know there was one thing in the whole universe we could share.

  4. Thanks for the photos of the “Super Moon,” which we couldn’t see in Chicago because it was cloudy.

  5. Thanks for the moon shots…of course I was expecting another ‘moon shot” but those are much better that what I imagined you were going to do…
    Me, I just went to a birthday party and then downtown Dunedin to enjoy my Mexican Hertiage. Just like on St. Pattty Day I am Irish on Cinco De Mayo I am Mexican to the core…. a couple of Corona’s and you two can be mexican for the evening at least…Teh Super moon did add a little more lght to the night and my moon shadow was terrific! Did you see your moon shadow last night? Mind was dark and clear as in daylight…try it sometimes…no kidding!

  6. TO paraphrase Barishnykov, we are taking photos, you are doing something else.

  7. Terry,

    It was still daylight over here when that huge orb started to come up from the ocean. I was sitting on the seawall and saw my moon shadow last night, as well… then had Cat Steven’s Moon Shadow in my head the rest of the night. Not a bad evening at all.

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