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Category Archives: Moonset

There was still a bit of ice in the shipping canal. The week before so much ice had blown in from out in the lake that nine ships were anchored outside the harbor entrance waiting to get in. The ice breaker had to be called to open up the shipping canal.


We happened to be in Canal Park when the Mesabi Miner came into port and left port. The ship’s captain gave out a call to those watching to enjoy the beautiful day. It was a rare April day in Duluth. The same crew member was on the bow waving to the crowd on both days.



There had been a full moon a couple of days before. The moon was just setting over the Duluth Lift Bridge in the early morning.


There was a ship anchored outside the harbor. At sunrise the pilot boat headed out to the ship. I was able to get a photo of it a little later in the morning when it returned to the harbor.


This was taken the end of April. Duluth had received more snow in April than in any month in history. There was one blizzard after another. This was one of the first nice days in all of April. I doubt too many folks in Florida would be on the beach with snow still around.


Fishing season was open. The North Breakwater was closed but the South Breakwater was open so the fisherman could get out for the opening of the season. No one was having any luck and shortly after the photo was taken most of them gave up.


Moonrise Crex Meadows

One of the things I like to do is try and plan my photography trips so that the sunset and moonrise are in close proximity. This allows me to get great shots of the sunset and turnaround and get a shot of the moonrise. The first time this happened was an accident. I had been photographing the sunset at Crex Meadows and was packing up to leave when I turned around and notice a full moon over Phantom Lake. After this experience I started checking the sunset/moonrise tables to plan my trips.


Moonrise over Crex Meadows

On a later trip to Crex Meadows I had planned to photograph the sunset and moonrise and had picked a great day to capture both. I picked a new location to photograph the sunset. Unfortunately I picked a bad location and didn’t get any sunset photos and almost missed the moonrise because I was in the wrong location. That was when I started to use The Photographers Ephemeris to plan my trips. This program not only shows the times for the sunset and moonrise but also shows the direction of the sunset and moonrise from any location. This program allows me to determine the best location to get the shots I want.  I reviewed this program in an earlier post and highly recommend it to anyone doing landscape photography.

Moonrise Two Harbors

Moonset Two Harbors

Sometimes I just get lucky. Earlier this fall I was photographing at Two Harbors, Minnesota and had planned to photograph the moonrise. I got engrossed in photographing a piece of ice and almost forgot about the moonrise until my wife mentioned it and when I looked up it was already fairly high in the sky. The next morning we went down to photograph the sunrise and I noticed that the moon was setting over the ore docks in the harbor.

Moonrise Duluth Harbor

If you plan a bit you can also get some interesting shots. This was taken in Duluth Harbor and shows the moon rising out of the chimney of the Outer South Lighthouse. I knew the moon would be coming up over the harbor so I waited around for it to get to right location. Fortunately the breakwater allowed me to position myself to get the photo.

Union Bay Moonset

Other times planning doesn’t enter into things. Last fall I was planning to photograph the sunrise at Lake of the Clouds in Porcupine Wilderness State Park. As I left the motel I noticed there was considerable cloud cover in the east so it didn’t look good for a  sunrise shot. However, as we were driving into the park I noticed the moon setting over Union Bay and quickly decided that the moonset was going to provide a better opportunity on this particular morning.

More photos of moonrise/moonset photo can be found on my website. Just click on search and enter moonrise or moonset.

When we travel to the Minnesota North Shore we sometimes stop at Two Harbors for the evening. I like to photograph in the harbor at sunset. On this trip we were having problems deciding where the trip would take us. We finally decided that our destination would be Two Harbors. As a result we managed to get a late start so we didn’t arrive in Two Harbors until late in the afternoon. Our first stop was the harbor to check out conditions. The lake had some nice waves and a little ice. The Duluth Shipping Schedule indicated that an ore carrier would dock about the time we arrived but it had already arrived. I took a few shots of the waves and ice before heading for the hotel.

We changed into some warm clothing and drove back to the harbor to photograph the sunset. We were a little late and missed the early part of the color but I was able to get some interesting shots of the ice and rocks with the sunset reflecting on the rocks.

There were not a lot of clouds out but the alpenglow produced some stunning silhouette shots of the lighthouse at the end of the breakwater. The color was just spectacular.

One of the things I hopped to accomplish was to photograph the sunset and the moon rise. I usually try and plan a trip to a location where I can shoot the sunset then turn around and capture the moonrise. On this particular night I apparently had what the kids call a brain f—. I was so interested in trying to capture this small ice shot that I totally forgot about the moonrise until my wife commented that the moon was up. I was able to get a shot but not the one I wanted.

 I also managed a few shots of the ore loading docks. Although we missed the ore boat that was supposed to dock earlier in the afternoon we were able to see two ore carriers loading at the docks. Late in the evening the ore docks and ships were all lit up.

 In the morning we returned to photograph the sunrise. I’ve never been a big fan of the sunrise at Two Harbors but since we were in town I decided to give it another try. On this particular day the temperature was not that cold but the wind was really howling. It was almost difficult to stand up. The strong winds off the lake made for an unpleasant photography experience. I did manage a shot of a memorial bench located above the beach with the color on the horizon in the  background. It made for an interesting silhouette shot.

 There was also a shot of the moonset that was taking place behind the ore docks. It was still a little high in the sky but I managed to capture it.

Most of the time was spend shooting ice formations along the water. There was an Eagle wind surfing in the harbor most of the time we were there. The plan was to drive over and try and get a shot of it but it disappeared just as we were leaving.

More Two Harbors photos can be found on my website.

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