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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DONALD TRUMP & DEMOCRACY

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Please help with a donation today if you can—even just a few bucks helps. Not ready to donate but interested in our work? Sign up for our Daily newsletter to stay well-informed—and see what makes our people-powered, not profit-driven, journalism special.

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