This photo is a sequence of a jet landing at LAX crossing the moon. This is a site I have longed for since childhood. Click on the "Read more" at the bottom for the story behind the photo.
Many moons ago, so to speak, I remember a summer evening when my brother, a neighbor and I sat atop a small shed in the back yard. We scanned the dark, starry sky while we exchanged stories.
While lying on the roof scanning the night sky, I scoped a jet moving towards the moon. I watched the red blinking light pulse off and on for a long time. Suddenly, the jet's light stopped and its outline passed across the moon's light. I was amazed to see it shape against the moon's light and slip back into the darkness and a red blinking light again.
Since that time, I have never seen another aircraft cross the moon's path. I constantly searched but was never fortunate enough to see it again. I knew I would have to create my own situation.
Tonight would be different. I set up my tripod, mounted my Nikon D300 and attached a Nikon 400mm f/2.8 lens prior the moon's rise. As the moon rose over Los Angeles, I knew that its angle from the dog park in Redondo Beach would be perfect for planes landing at LAX. As the landing planes decended, I would time the rising moon and capture the shot.
Well, not everything worked out as I thought it would. Some things worked perfectly and others turned into a learning lesson. I got to the park just after sunset and set up my equipment. I was able to carry everything in one haul. I put on my down jacket (a cold evening) and threw my camera bag over my shoulder. Next came my Gitzo tripod bag and a TrekPod monopod bag. That left my hands free to carry a seat pad in one hand and the Nikon 400mm in the other.
Things that went well......... I set up the quipment in the dark without fail. I knew where everything was in my bags and assembled them. That was rare but great.
Things not so well....... the 2X teleconvertor didn't work with the lens. I had to take it off and thus not get a huge moon shot. The second thing was the number of flights. Usually the planes are lined up one after the other. I have counted 9 planes lined up to land. Not tonight. Only one plane crossed the moon's path. I was starstruck by that.
As the one plane crossed the moon, I was able to shoot many shots and I assembled them in Photoshop. That was a learning experience but easy enough to figure out.
In the end, a lot lessons learned and it was an experience. I will be ready next time the moon aligns right and the planes land.