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 NEEDS YOUR HELP

We have about a $170,000 funding gap and less than a week to go in our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign that ends Saturday. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

We have about a $170,000 funding gap and less than a week to go in our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign that ends Saturday. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

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