December 2, 2012 Amazing Night and Morning Part 2 - Ridiculous Moon-lit Foggy Sunrise

Please go to part 1 of this epic night if you haven't already here. (CLICK HERE)

This night had already been amazing, with nice fogbows, moon-lit foggy scenes and those scenes with lunar fogbows. It was now ready to head into indescribable territory. A scene you don't just happen to stumble on some morning. During twilight we had a nearly full moon high up about 75 degrees to our west. It's illuminating what becomes a freaking crazy low fog show. At the same time nicely placed cirrus begin turning pink and purple from the very early sunlight getting to them. I say nicely placed, because if that fetch had been over us, I'm sure it would have affected our fog some. Temps love to bump up with much cloud cover. But for sure we wouldn't have our full bright moon shining brightly like we now did. Everywhere above and around us up there was now crystal clear. It's pretty silly to me to consider the odds of this happening like this. Each step is so hard to get and to get them all timing with the others. It's hard to get a crazy fog show on its own. Like real hard to get that. But to get it with an unobstructed moon and the moon phase and timing to have it where it was as well at sunrise/twilight. Then toss in the pink/red cirrus as well. It's ridiculous. It is humorous to me though. Getting the moon-lit nice low fog op has been a freaking nemesis to me. I could count on a night that looked like it had good low fog potential to actually bust, just by what the moon phase was. Was like, it will fail because I have wanted it with the moon forever now and it always fails when the moon is right. Over and over and over. This was like, ok, here you go and I'll toss in crazy fog activity and some pink and red cirrus on the horizon. I was in such disbelief with the view the whole time. I've seen some whoppers from there. The moon-light on that fog with it was just crazy and against the jet black appearing hills, then the reds right above that. Just truly an unbelievable morning after a great night. We were there doing this for 12 hours straight.

Hello! That is looking south. Omaha lighting up those clouds. The moon is around 75 degrees high to the west shining on the fog. Clouds to the east just starting to change.

It is quite possible I'll never see such a sunrise again. The lighting was completely magical. If I could do a back flip I would have been doing them. Instead I couldn't shut up about the view in every damn direction and how completely crazy it was and was becoming. Just the way the fog was glowing white from the moon and how it was all the more contrasted against the jet black west facing morning hills. And again, what the fog was doing and toss in the vibrant red-purple clouds. Oh and hey, lets stick very bright Venus in there for good measure too lol. I. Can't. Believe. The. View. In the truest sense that describes this morning.

I've never wished for two camera bodies ready to go so bad in my life. The scene was demanding I use the 14mm Samyang, the 21mm Zeiss, the 50mm Sigma and the 100-400 Canon. And I was swapping them rapidly over and over trying not to screw shots up in the process. The hard stop infinity focus on the Zeiss was so so so damn nice to have. I'd waste time on the others trying to manually live view focus 10x each time I'd swap them, to be sure they were tack sharp. The Sigma's focus ring is stiff enough I probably never had to worry after I had it right once. I was just quite thankful for the way the Zeiss do infinity.

If this isn't epic morning view I'm not sure what is. We were now getting these fog falls/streams that were going down then ramping up the next hill and shooting fog into the air. Imagine standing there. Evan and Chris seemed sorta speechless lol. I think I kept uttering, "this is stupidly unbelievable" etc. I wish I had thought to let the camera shoot video for a short bit. Course I don't even think the 5D II is set with that enabled yet. I need to remind myself how that even goes on it. If I had known this was going to happen, I'd have had my T2i and another tripod up there with me.

Really? Like really? Moon-lit fog falls with jets and a crazy sunrise. Yeah that'll happen in another 10 years.

This was the first weather op I had with my 5D II and the lenses. Had one crappy chase but my 5D II wasn't back then. Trick must be buying new gear. First chase after getting a video camera in 2010 was Bowdle SD day lol.

Think of needing just the right depth of fog out there. These aren't huge hills by any stretch. The valleys in these hills to the east here were just empty too. They would again be emptied out before the sun rises. All the other aspects that had to fall in place, then toss in this timing aspect. Crazy.

If the wind hadn't been just right, there'd have been no fog falls or if the fog hadn't been right. And if the moon hadn't been big and where it was, without clouds in front of it, the light on the fog would have been far different. And of course the one main band of clouds perfectly placed to the southeast for the sun. For sure all the odds busting on the moon with this in the past went into this event lol.

The fun about to end as the lighting will start to get worse towards actual sunrise. This looking due south basically. After being here since 8pm the night before, it was now time to head home. Pant legs and feet were all soggy, cold and muddy. Body really worn out from dragging the gear around like mad. The best times to be worn out, cold and tired, after hours of being utterly amazed.

The sad thing with me is, if there is any room for improvement, I'll keep trying the impossible ops. Again, perfect depth fog in the flats of western Iowa is a big fat challenge to get to happen. Doing it with the good moon phase makes that op all the harder. But at least I can't say this was a tease. This was anything but a tease of what could happen.

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