While exploring Kona’s Hapuna Beach in 2019, I was looking for a scene that really inspired me. It wasn’t until I reached the end of the beach, and found this spot where it transitioned back to natural rock and trees, that I found what I was looking for. I loved the meeting of sand, rock, trees, ocean, and sky with the moon setting on the horizon. And yet I have also long struggled with this photo and feeling like it was not ready for sharing.
Sometimes you want something in your photos, but you have a hard time finding it exactly. For me, I wanted to capture the essence of Stockholm but I had a hard time finding the right place to see it. Stockholm is an amazing city, with a breathtaking combination of modern Scandinavian architecture mixed with classic European castles and buildings. But Stockholm’s most notable feature is also its most striking – the entire city sits on an archipelago of 14 islands next to the sea.
After a long day at a conference, I joined several of my coworkers for dinner on the patio of a restaurant in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. We were all exhausted, but it had been a good day for everyone. I had brought along my camera to take some photos at the event, and just happened to have it sitting next to me at the dinner table. That’s when I looked up and saw the moon rising over the top of 111 Huntington in the background. The combination of blue hour twilight, the moonlit sky, and the distinctive roof of Boston’s “R2D2 building” made for an unforgettable photo.
When traveling with your camera, it often helps to know the phase of the moon. That said, if you’re not a walking moon phase calendar, simply paying attention to your surroundings can be a good fallback. Such was the case for me one night before I took this photo when I happened to look out the windows of the Google office and see an almost full moon rising over downtown. I immediately opened PhotoPills, saw that the full moon was the next night, and began formulating a plan.