Moonlight over the Mokuluas

Some nights, I just need a break. An opportunity to walk out the door, leave my children and husband at home, and clear my head of all the noise. As a mom whose life is consumed by homeschooling and cooking and childcare and chores, while still trying to work from home on a burgeoning photo/design business and a national social media campaign for a non-profit, and attempting to coordinate a trans-Pacific move, my head is perpetually filled with to-do lists. I get to the point where people talk to me, and I cannot understand what they are saying--I have to stop the whirling in my brain and have them repeat themselves in order to get my brain to shift gears from all of the stuff going on inside. 

I had reached this point on Wednesday night, so my dear husband came home early and sent me out the door with strict instructions to relax. "Go get a pedicure," he said. Although it would have been lovely, I had something else in mind for my evening of relaxation. I really wanted an hour or two to just shoot for me, and I knew that I'd seen a full moon out the night before. I pulled up a photo planner app (Photo Pills, if anyone is interested) and checked to see when and where the moon would rise, and wouldn't you know it--the moon was scheduled to rise at 8:50 pm over the very spot I'd been DYING to photograph the moonrise. It was fate, I tell 'ya.

I quickly packed up my tripod and gear and drove across the island, hitting Whole Foods for some picnic provisions along the way.  I arrived on Lanikai beach in full dark, which made hiking across the sand to my shooting location interesting, then set up my gear and waited. I enjoyed the quiet of the night, relishing the sound of the waves hitting the shore as I sipped my beer and ate my dinner. Soon, I saw the sky beginning to lighten in the direction of the Mokuluas, two tiny islets just off the windward coast of Oahu. The show was about to begin. 

And what a gorgeous show it was. The moon began peeking over the horizon, fiery red, a tiny sliver staining the sky and clouds around it orange. Slowly it ascended, just between the two islets, and sent a trail of gold across the surface of the water. As it rose, the moon passed between and behind clouds, sometimes blocked completely, and at other times it would suddenly break free of it's cloudy prison and defiantly blaze it's light upon the shore. It was a beautiful show that I happily watched for two hours, taking many shots from different angles, playing with multiple compositions and exposures. Finally, the damp chilly air drove me from the beach and back to the van for the long drive home. It was a lovely evening, exactly what this busy mama needed to feel refreshed and ready to tackle another day of chaos. 

 

 First light.

First light.

 Breaking through.

Breaking through.

 My favorite of the bunch.

My favorite of the bunch.