Full Moon at Roy’s

In January, I spent a week in and around Palm Springs, California. I hoped to photograph some mid-century architecture, plus get some much-needed sun. It turned out to be sort of rainy – something I’ll cover in another post. Another reason for my visit was that I hoped to photograph the full moon out in the Mojave desert, and I wanted to shoot it with a local landmark — Roy’s.

Roy’s is located in Amboy California, on Route 66. Roy’s was a combination of cafe, gas station, and motel that was in operation during the heyday of Route 66. Today, the gas station is open, and at times they have a cookout going on. The motel, I was told, may re-open in a few years. The location is far away from anywhere (I drove 80 miles east to spend the night in Needles), but a place that many make a pilgrimage to.  During my short time there, perhaps a dozen cars pulled up.  Roy’s has a giant sign that has been refurbished, and the neon comes on at sunset.

I had lined up the moonrise with Roy’s sign using The Photographer’s Ephemeris, an online tool that shows the position of the sun and moon. As the sun went down, I moved into position. I ended up waiting longer than expected, as the moon needed to clear the mountains before becoming visible. Eventually, the moon peaked over the mountains and I found myself a hundred yards or so out of place.



I scrambled to move and line things up, and then photographed the moon as it aligned with the top of the sign.



After photographing the moon, I spent some time photographing Roy’s more close up.  I used both my digital and film cameras.  I’ll have more photos to share in the future.



2 comments on “Full Moon at Roy’s”

  1. Great shots! Thanks for the shout out for The Photographer’s Ephemeris. Not sure if you’ve seen the feature, but you can determine the exact time when the Moon will appear from behind a ridge or mountains using the geodetics and/or sightline features. If you were shooting on the day of Full Moon (Jan 25), then the Moon should have popped up at around 5:25pm, 17 minutes after official moonrise.

    1. Peter says:

      This is a great tip, thanks! Love the software and use it weekly.

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