You’ve seen pictures like this before, and they’re harder to take than you’d think. The problem is that with an extreme telephoto lens, you have to be in precisely the right spot to get the moon rising where you want it. A difference of even 50 yards in either direction will ruin it, and once the moon starts to appear you only have about a minute to get into the right spot. To make it even worse, the moon rises in a slightly different place every day. So even if you scout locations on one day (as I did), you have to estimate how far away you need to be on the next day to get it just right. I missed on my second day, so I went out again and then had to scurry around to find . . .

Oh hell, I never did get it exactly right. Luckily Photoshop came to the rescue. This is Santiago Peak, home of lots of antennas, and this is what it would have looked like if I’d managed to position myself precisely right. Good enough, I say.

December 31, 2020 — Trabuco Canyon, California

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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