Glow 2008

Last night Matt and I headed to the Santa Monica pier (at about 11:30pm) to check out Glow, the light-and-technology art/music festival put together on the beach.Some of the art was kind of cool but in retrospect I'm beginning to believe that the event itself was the real art piece, featuring up to 44,000 people (that's not a typo) wandering the beach and surrounding area looking for light and color, both of which there seemed to be tragically less of than anticipated. There were some cool perspective-bending "exhibits," to be sure, but the event was made far more of an extravaganza by the swarms of people stumbling around in varyious states of intoxication. As one confused visitor put it, "There's like 3,000 people down there praying to a #$*&@*% lava lamp!"Parking was a nightmare, of course. From what I read, this event will be attempted again in a couple years. Hopefully by then some of the kinks will be smoothed out.

Gnarly crowds, this is a pedestrian bridge crossing Coast Highway at 1am.Contrary to what it looks like, watching this lady maneuver her "bioluminescent lightstrings," looks a lot like this image; the light trails were also visible to the naked eye---a bit like seeing this picture in 3-D.GlowMuscle beach in the GlowlightThis was about the time somebody walked right up to me and asked point blank whether I had any acid. Needless to say a good number of the people in attendance were enjoying the event on a far different level.I called this the "glowstick graveyard."Really cool creations hanging beneath the pier, made out of lights, mechanized parts, and plastic bags that inflated and deflated making them look like some bizarre robotic jellyfish.

Lunar Eclipse

I'm sure lots of people saw the lunar eclipse last night. Or maybe I just like to think I wasn't the only one out on my roof with my camera at two in the morning. The eclipse peaked here in Southern California around 3am, but I was up anyway because I'd gone out with some friends to see the movie Stardust and didn't get home till 1am. I enjoyed the film, by the way :)Anyway, while I've seen lunar eclipses before, I've never tried photographing one. In fact, I've never really tried photographing the moon before, period. I guess I always figured it's so beautiful and symbolic and mysterious that hundreds of thousands of photographers have already captured it in far more creative ways than I could dream of, so I never really tried.But I'm glad I did. It wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be, really.Here's a composite of the first half:

(I was too tired to stay up for the second half, which probably would have ended close to dawn.)
I was using a tripod (of course), and a simple 70-300mm zoom set all the way at 300mm. It was kind of like a low-powered telescope, and worked pretty well, especially with my D200's crop ratio!
The copper color during the total eclipse phase comes from sunlight scattering through the Earth's atmosphere before being reflected off the moon. The same effect happens during sunsets and sunrises, which is why they appear so red and orange.
Find out more about lunar eclipses, and view more (and better) sights of the universe at Google Earth.You can also find out when the next lunar eclipse visible from your area will be at NASA's lunar eclipse page!