the blog of Seldom Seen Photography

Rainier Moon Success

Rainier MoonAfter trying for about a year, I finally captured the shot of the full moon (or almost full moon) rising over Mount Rainier. I’ve discussed my various attempts at capturing this shot in several previous posts, including this one from August 2019 and this one from earlier this year. Using the Photographers Ephemeris, I calculated what days the nearly full moon will rise behind Mount Rainier from spots near to Tacoma. This happens every year in June, July, and August.

I say almost full moon because I wanted to capture the moon just before sunset, and on day of the actual full moon, it ususally rises after sunset. The shots here were taken two days before the official full moon. My other attempts, described below, were the day before the full moon.

Last August, I went to the Fox Island Bridge along with several friends to capture the rising moon. We did see the moon rise behind Rainier, but the clouds partially obscured the moon and the light on the mountain itself was not optimal. I went again last June and had similar results. In July, I again met two friends, this time at Dune Park in Tacoma. However, the mountain and the rising moon were not visible due to clouds (though I did get some other worthwhile shots).

Finally, last month I had success, as you can see from the shot above and those below. Once again I journeyed to Dune Park, and all the necessary elements for a successful shot fell into place. I had the added bonus of seeing a dolphin frolicking off the park’s shores – the first time I’ve ever seen a dolphin there. Were the shots worth waiting and planning over an entire year? You be the judge.

Moon Topper

Rainier Moon 2

Rainier Moon 3

Dolphin Play

7 responses

  1. Wow, your photos are absolutely stunning and Mount Rainier has to be one of the most stunning peaks to capture! Would love to see it one day. But until it’s safe to travel again, we are staying close to home and looking forward to exploring more of Ireland. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 😀 Aiva

    September 3, 2020 at 1:23 pm

    • Thank you. And I’d love to see Ireland some day. Perhaps we can trade places sometime…

      September 3, 2020 at 1:56 pm

  2. This is incredible!!! Thinking of the PNW right now

    September 17, 2020 at 4:30 am

  3. premsank

    Very beautiful! Worth the wait i must say! Congratulations!

    October 24, 2020 at 9:00 am

  4. Pingback: My Favorites of 2020 | joebeckerphoto

  5. billmuy

    Amazing shots!

    I just came across your site while looking for techniques for planning and taking exactly these shots. If you don’t mind can you please share your focal length and camera settings? I’d like to learn from them.

    March 21, 2021 at 1:45 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.