Traverse City’s Clock Tower Under a Full Moon

Photo: light trails, moonrise, Traverse City
Cars stream past the clock tower in Traverse City

Yesterday’s partly sunny skies became thick cloud cover just in time to dispel any notions I had of capturing an interesting sunset over the ice in Traverse City. As the color bled out of the day, so did those pesky clouds – just in time to uncover the full moon’s diaphanous orb. Having previously made images of the full moon over West Grand Traverse Bay, I wanted something different. I wasn’t sure what that was until we approached Traverse City’s downtown from West Front Street, and then I hopped out of the car with my camera and tripod in tow (but no coat or gloves – what was I thinking? It was 15F out there!). I framed the photograph several ways, and experimented with various exposures before I settled on this portrait version. I opted for a small aperture and low ISO, and then dialed in my shutter speed at 15 seconds for a good exposure of the scene. Then I just had to wait for the right amount of traffic to head toward me.