This is a 30 minute time-lapse image of the Sturgeon Moon rising over the Jefferson Memorial Sunday evening created by overlapping 13 photographs.  The first photo was taken at 8:14 pm and the last photo was taken at 8:44 pm. (Kevin Ambrose)

“An army of photographers is about to arrive,” said a young woman carrying a camera.

I was setting up my tripods to shoot the Sturgeon Moon Sunday evening. Until that moment, my friend and I were the only photographers in sight on the west side of the Tidal Basin.

But she was right. Within a few minutes, we were surrounded by dozens of photographers who were part of the Sunday Night Full Moon Walk sponsored by Washington D.C. History and Culture.  The group arrived just in time to watch a beautiful, cloud-free moonrise over the Jefferson Memorial and Tidal Basin.

This weekend’s Sturgeon Moon was the last full moon of summer. Its namesake is the sturgeon fish which, according to folklore, is most easily caught this time of year.

The moon was 99.9 percent full Saturday and 99.4 percent full Sunday, giving photographers back-to-back chances to get the perfect shot.

I set up for Saturday evening’s moon photo shoot on Key Bridge, facing southeast down the Potomac River.  At 7:39 pm, the moon began to rise above the Watergate Hotel and tracked over the Washington Monument during the same time the fading light of sunset transitioned to dusk. There was plenty of color in the sky Saturday evening from sunset but, unfortunately, clouds obscured the moon for most of the moonrise.  I photographed with Kevin Wolf who contributes copious photos to the Capital Weather Gang.

Sunday evening’s moon shoot was all about the Jefferson Memorial and positioning the moon next to the dome. The weather was absolutely perfect for a moonrise shoot, particularly for August when haze and clouds tend to obscure the moonrise. My friend Dennis Govoni and I chose to shoot the moon with the Jefferson Memorial.

I need to choose an August photo from my 2019 calendar.  For now, I’m leaning toward the photo showing a blue hour moonrise over the Watergate Hotel but I also like the lead image showing 13 moons next to the Jefferson Memorial.

Let me know if you have a favorite photo or image from this post that would look for August 2019.


The moon rises above the horizon at the Tidal Basin Sunday evening. (Kevin Ambrose)

The full moon reflects in the Tidal Basin. (Kevin Ambrose)

The Sturgeon Moon rises over the Jefferson Memorial Sunday evening. (Kevin Ambrose)

This is a 40 minute split-screen time-lapse of the Sturgeon Moon rising over the Watergate Hotel and Potomac River Saturday evening.  The first photo was taken at 7:45 pm and the other photos were shot at ten minute increments. These photos were taken from the middle of Key Bridge. (Kevin Ambrose)

The moonrise Saturday evening occurred during sunset. This is a view of the moon rising over the Watergate Hotel. (Kevin Ambrose)

A blue hour moonrise over the Watergate Hotel. (Kevin Ambrose)

Clouds filter the moon’s light Saturday evening as the moon rises over the D.C. skyline. (Kevin Ambrose)