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

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate