Looking through my portfolio this past week, I ran across the image of the Harvest Moon (Supermoon) that I took a number of years ago. It’s one of my favorite images. Not just because I got to see it in person and experience it, but also because of all of the wonderful emotions that photograph represents now when I look at it. Joy, confidence, and a sense of achievement. Those emotions put me on a weeklong high and a momentum that has propelled me to the present day.
The date was September 8, 2014. I had been planning how I was going to capture the upcoming supermoon for weeks and scouting locations that would best capture its beauty and reflect its size in relation to other objects around it. I decided that Zilker Park, near downtown Austin was the best location. I could shoot the moon, so to speak, and capture the Austin skyline in the image as well. I arrived on location an hour before the sun went down so that I could set up my gear and decide which angle would be best to conquer this bright, golden light that would show off its enormous stature for a short period of time as it ascended into the night sky.
Once all of my camera equipment was set up, it was time to wait. I was extremely anxious. I knew my window of time to take my shot was going to be small. I wanted to be able see the moon rising between the tall buildings that decorated downtown Austin. After waiting about 30 minutes and as the sky began to dim, I finally saw the Harvest Moon between two of the tallest buildings in Austin. I began to press the shutter on my camera and would stop periodically and look at some of the images I had captured to make sure they were clear and sharp. It didn’t take long before the moon had climbed to a height that no longer represented its magnitude.
My opportunity had ended and I only took pictures for about ten to fifteen minutes. Although the event was over, I was excited that I had the chance to capture this special occasion. Once I arrived home, I looked through my images and posted my favorite to my social media account. I received many comments from photographer friends and others expressing how much they loved the portrait. I felt elated that I had caught the moon’s rising and was thrilled that I could share it.
The next day, I noticed on Facebook that ABC World News Tonight was requesting images of the previous night’s Harvest Moon. I immediately decided that I would submit my favorite photo on a fluke. I realized that there had to be hundreds, or thousands of people submitting pictures from all over the country, so my chances of having my photograph noticed were slim.
I had an event the night of the newscast and knew I wouldn’t be home, so I decided to DVR the broadcast. About 8:30 that evening, I began receiving texts and messages on my Facebook from friends saying they saw my image on ABC World News Tonight. My event was wrapping up and I could hardly wait to get home and watch it for myself. As soon as I got home, I immediately grabbed the television remote and pulled up the list of recordings. I chose the newscast and hit play. I couldn’t even watch the news for that evening and fast forwarded the program to see if I could see images of the supermoon. I found it! It was at the end of the telecast and I stopped the DVR to view those who had been chosen.
As I watched David Muir talk about the Harvest Moon from the previous night, photos began to appear on the screen with the names of the photographers who took them and the location where they were taken. He mentioned that images from all over the country had been sent in. Suddenly, I saw my image appear on the screen along with my name and “Texas.” I was thrilled! I was beyond ecstatic to be able to share my work and have it chosen as one of three images picked for the show. Once the newscast was over, I had to re-watch it several times before it finally sunk in that my photograph had appeared on a National Newscast. Having my photo chosen and viewed by a nationwide audience was definitely a gold star week for me!