David Barthel - North Shore Images PhotographyDavid Barthel North Shore Images Photography
David Barthel

Photo Journal & News

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Full Moon's Night

The night of the January full moon is very special for a handful of photographers who ritually gather on the shore below Split Rock Lighthouse awaiting the rise of the winter full moon. This is one of the few nights of the year that the moon can be seen rising from behind the 130-foot cliff that is the foundation of the iconic lighthouse. Unlike the moons of the other winter months, the January full moon has also been the most reliable to see here - it has not failed to appear during the last four years.

I arrived as several other photographers were already setting up, awaiting Earth's only natural satellite to break the horizon. It is sort of a photographer's reunion as many of us have come to know each other over the years through this mutual interest.

Soon, light began to filter through the clouds and the promise of seeing a stellar full moon was imminent. The thin clouds that remained in front of the moon added a nice texture to this later moonrise in which capturing the detail of the moon along with the darker landscape would have been nearly impossible. After snapping several shots, it quickly grew too dark to fully capture the essence of the evening.

With each passing year, new memories are made, and it is the simple ones like these that are most cherished. Despite winter's cold bite, the magic of a moonrise at Split Rock will always be a pleasant experience.


  1. Beautiful pic. What do you have to do to get an invitation?

  2. No invitation is required (nor does one exist)! There's plenty of room along the shore and anyone is welcome. All is needed is a valid vehicle permit to enter the state park.


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