It’s an unassuming little bridge connecting Kanagawa-Ken to southwestern Tokyo spanning the Tamagawa but Marukobashi has nice arches, a wide pedestrian walkway and some nice lighting. The fact that the sky is relatively open compared to the rest of Tokyo is makes it a logical choice for trying to capture the September supermoon while it was still low in the sky.
I ran home after work, packed my bag and cycled to the bridge. It wasn’t until I was half-way there that I remembered I would be cycling home in the dark and I’d forgotten my flashlight. Too late to turn back and since the fine is $500 for riding without a bike light (though not always enforced) the fact that my route went by two police stations meant I’d be walking my bike back. Luckily, that was the only mishap.
Timeanddate.com gave me the time and direction of moonrise. The compass app on my phone pointed me in the right direction. I crossed the bridge into Kanagawa, set up and waited. Sunday night was the eclipse and event though I couldn’t see it in Japan, I’d been pouring over the postings in Flickr and drooling with envy. I particularly liked a photo by Jeffrey Sullivan which was taken this April and you can see here. He was generous enough to give some great info on his shot and some technical aspects of photographing the moon. Somewhere during my perusing I learned about the 500 rule. The 500 rule helps you get nice crispy shots of the moon by determining the longest exposure you can make based on your lens before movement of the moon and the stars blurs the shot (assuming your tripod is sturdy).
500 Divided By the Focal Length of Your Lens = The Longest Exposure (in Seconds) Before Stars Start to “Trail”
There is a great explanation of this at Petapixel.
To my great relief, there were hardly any clouds on Monday compared to my shoot at Tateyama Castle in Chiba the night before. And when that moon peeped over Marukobashi, I was literally jumping up and down. Which required a quick explanation to a family walking past. And here are a few of my shots.