2014—More Blood Moon

This morning, after a couple hours of sleep (I awoke precisely at 6AM) I discovered this shot of the almost fully eclipsed moon that I took at 11:59 (the moon was fully eclipsed at 12:08) and that I overlooked earlier when I was reviewing the photos in a foggy stupor. Prior to taking this shot, I had exposed for the visible part of the moon and was seeing no color in the shadow of the Earth. After I opened up a couple of stops, the blood began to show but the slower shutter speed blew out the uneclipsed part of the moon. I thought it was a pretty cool looking shot. And, the stars are in better focus in this shot. I think it’s Saturn on the right and the tiny spot might be Mars on the left, or maybe it’s just dust on my computer screen!

I had planned to use my 2x teleconverter attached to the 70-200mm lens for a closer view of the moon, but it was nowhere to be found when I was setting up last night. After panicking and tearing my house apart, packing and unpacking my camera bag at least ten times, it occurred to me that I might have left it in Redding. It was too late to call my brother so I e-mailed him and hoped that’s where it was. And, this morning, he confirmed that, yes, he had it! I was so relieved to find it. I think worrying about it is what woke me up at 6AM. I will have to make a checklist for my camera bag so that I know everything that comes out goes back in!

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2014—Blood Moon

It was appropriate, I guess, that while I spent the late night and early morning hours photographing the Blood Moon, I watched the final two episodes of “Dexter” with all its blood and gore. It set the mood.

And I set a timer for every ten minutes to go out and take another couple of shots until the eclipse was total and the moon was about to be completely bloodied, then I stayed out until I couldn’t really see it much anymore and my photos weren’t turning out. I couldn’t use the camera’s intervelometer to take photographs at timed intervals which was my first thought, because the moon was moving across the sky as the eclipse was developing and had I left the camera unattended, I would have had lots of photos of the blank sky. The moon didn’t look blood red to my naked, myopic eyes, only slightly reddish with lots of shadow. I could see just a tinge of color but I kept having to twiddle with the exposure in camera to get that blood red color; it was late, I was sleepy, and I kept turning the dials the wrong way, giving me less color rather than more. I finally got it almost right, but they still needed a tiny bit of adjustment in post processing. Focus was difficult because the moon was so dim at the height of the eclipse.

The first shot is the moon about a half hour before the eclipse was predicted to start but there is already a shadow starting to shade the moon. The second shot is just a couple of minutes after the eclipse was considered total and the third shot is about 40 minutes into the eclipse. I used my 70-200mm lens and the D7100. These shots are cropped.

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