No. I don’t mean that the camera is a disaster. I think I’ve made that quite clear in so many ways and, or so I believe, my Flickr pictures prove the point. No. The weak link in the ownership of the Canon 40D is the piece of organic flesh frequently found behind the eyepiece.
That would be me just in case you’re wondering.
“Disaster” refers to my experiences the other night; specifically Friday night. See….I’m up here along the west coast of Lake Michigan in the lovely, if not buggy, state of Wisconsin. I have family up here and my dad was visiting as well, so it seemed like the perfect confluence of events to lead me to make an appearance. Wednesday night, shortly after I arrived from my eight-hour drive, my father and I went to visit my grandmother/his mother at the assisted living facility in which she is currently living. When he and I departed there was this absolutely stunning moon rising over the local trees and into the night sky. It was big, slightly orange and just fabulous. Fabulous for photographing!
I didn’t have a chance to make it out Thursday evening, but knew I’d make the trip to the lake’s shoreline on Friday night so that I might take in the rapture that would be photographing this simply fantastic moon. Or so I thought.
Let’s start off by stating that the conditions on Friday evening were pretty poor for photography purposes and this knowledge should have been enough to keep me home, but I’m stupid. Way stupid. See, the wind was blowing off the lake at about 30 to 35 miles per hour. As such there was much in the way of water vapor and spray being whipped up off the water, which was then sprayed across the shoreline where I sat eagerly awaiting moonrise with my tripod and camera. I hadn’t checked what time was moonrise, but was confident it was near 2130 EDT as this was the time I saw the moon just two nights earlier. So there I sat, leaning against my car much of the time, straining to see into the mist that was whipped up off the lake. But nothing appeared.
2130 EDT became 2200 EDT. 2200 EDT became 2215 EDT. 2215 EDT became 2230 EDT and I was beginning to become annoyed. It was about this time that I turned and looked north towards the town of Two Rivers, WI. There, hanging just above the town, was the somewhat gorgeous and somewhat orange moon that I had seen two nights previously. Clearly the lake spray was effecting the viewing conditions, but more importantly, what the fuck was the moon doing over Two Rivers??
See, from where I was positioned Two Rivers is north. As such shouldn’t the moon have risen east? You know….out over the lake? I was very confused. Fortunately the moon wasn’t very high and Two Rivers was only a 4-minute drive. So what to do? I was out of position, it was windy and I was annoyed. Regardless I packed up and rushed into Two Rivers and headed to the Neshota Park, which is a beach park and where I thought I might find an uninterrupted view of the rising moon.
Mission accomplished! I arrive at the park and note that there is a view of the rising moon. Granted, the orange glow has receeded a fair bit and I’ve run into a group of three heavily intoxicated local rednecks. Joy. So while I try to avoid the drunken local flavour I yank out the tripod and camera, mount same, aim for the moon and start snapping pics. Problem. It’s so damn windy the camera won’t sit still enough to capture a motion-free image. Like I said…the wind was really coming off the lake like a fiend. I should have known this was going to happen, but I had this happy-go-lucky attitude of don’t worry – be happy. I should have put a gun to my head and ended the night right there, but no. This guy doesn’t learn when he’s beaten so what do I do? I say to myself “You know Mark. You shouldn’t let this get you down. There must be something else in Manitowoc or Two Rivers that you can photograph so this evening isn’t a complete waste.”
What a dumb shit.
My life has been a shining beacon of yes; it can get worse. A lot worse. I try some cute little fountains by the Two Rivers municipal building. Nothing. I try pics of the car ferry Badger back in Manitowoc. Nothing. I try some cars-in-motion pics along Maritime Drive (the road between Two Rivers and Manitowoc). Nothing.
Disaster. Debacle. Death.
Nights like that leave me with the overwhelming urge to hurl my camera, lenses, media cards, batteries, tripod, owner’s manuals, kit bags, lens clothes and everything else I’ve failed to mention into the bin. However, I’m too stupid to do that either.