rises in east sets in west

4 Seasons: Sun/Moon Rises/Sets of 2010

In 2010 I decided to record sunrises and sets at the start of each season: two equinoxes and two solstices. I did it in March and June, also getting full moon rises and sets in September and December. I chose the Deer Lake State Park ramp over the dunes between the beach and forest as the best local location, with a relatively good view of the horizon. My goal was to have a composite panorama showing the risings and settings together to see the distance between them and how they relate to the whole scene.

To get there takes about 45 minutes. I drive my car a mile to a beach access, park, and walk another mile along the Gulf of Mexico to the stairs up to the overview platform on the ramp. I get there 30 minutes before the sunrise or sunset to set up and catch several rounds of photos for the best results. "Best" is highly subjective and changes according to the weather, my attention to technical details, and feeling.

It is in Deer Lake State Park south of Scenic Highway 30-A and the parking lot in NW Florida on the Emerald Coast. Coordinates: 30°18'32.50"N and 86° 4'23.30"W.

Having full moons on the September equinox and December solstice helped define the moon's paths during the year. It is near the sun's path on an equinox, but opposite on a solstice. If I did spherical panos, I could have added a final touch, the total eclipse of the full moon on the final solstice, December 21. I can report an awesome experience about 2 a.m. on a very cold night, looking almost straight up. Ahead the star Sirius glittered and the milky way flung across the sky to the NW.

The Panorama

World Wide Panoram logo There are four ways to view the same sun/moon rise/set scene: QuickTime small or full screen. Flash small or full screen. This panorama is entered in the World Wide Panorama December, 2010 event, which opened on New Year's day, January 1, 2011.


Canon 300D (Digital Rebel) digital SLR, EF-S 10-22mm lens, ISO 100. For details, see the four WWP events of 2010. Nodal Ninja pano head. 12 photos each. Composited elements of eight panoramas as one in Adobe Photoshop CS4. Stitched panos in QuicktTime Virtual Reality Authoring Studio (QTVRAS). Saved as .mov in QuickTime 7 Pro. Made some panos in Pano2VR.

See March, June, September, or December separately. Deer Lake State Park 2010 page.

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