Lunchtime Photo

Here’s something a little different. Last Thursday, as usual, I was casting around for something to do on Evil Dex Night, and I decided to see if I could get a picture of the moon setting over the water. The best nearby place for that is Laguna Beach, where the moon sets behind some rocks, not just over a vast, empty ocean. This is what I got.

I was a little south of Treasure Island Beach, shooting as far away as I could get from the rocks with the longest zoom setting I could use. If you’re wondering why the rocks are so bright, it’s because there’s a light on the beach that shines in that direction. At first this annoyed me, but a little before midnight the light shut off and I discovered that I couldn’t take any pictures at all without it. Not only was the exposure all but impossible, but I couldn’t even focus the camera with no light. This is the price you pay for a supernaturally long zoom lens: “infinity” wanders around as you change the focal length, and you have to find it manually if it’s too dark for autofocus to work. Unfortunately, if it’s too dark for autofocus, it’s usually too dark for manual focus too. The LCD screen is just too noisy.

Luckily, I took this one while the light was still on and the moon was just high enough for the autofocus to lock onto. The reason it’s in black-and-white is not because I planned it that way. It’s because, for some reason, the picture looks hideous in color. I’m not quite sure why. Maybe I just didn’t play around with it enough.

November 16, 2018 — Laguna Beach, California


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

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


Support our journalism

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


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.