Thursday, May 19, 2022

Blood Red Lunar Eclipse

 A couple nights ago, my son texted and asked if I was going to photograph the lunar eclipe. My response was: "What??" And then, "Oh, thanks, I didn't know about it!" 

So I Googled it: Super Flower Blood Moon lunar eclipse. Geeze, who comes up with these crazy names?? I haven't done any moon photography for a while, and I thought it might be a fun challenge. As a warm-up, I decided to practice on the moon on the evening before the eclipse (Saturday, 5/14/22).

Piece of cake! I used a tripod, although probably didn't need it, as the moon was very bright. I used my trusty 100-400mm telephoto zoom lens with a 2x extender, which gives me a maximum focal length of 800mm. Pretty good! The only downside is when I use the extender, I lose autofocus and have to focus manually. The best way to focus manually is to put the camera in "live view" mode (so you can see what you're shooting on your camera's screen) and then magnify the image. As you might have guessed, it requires a lot of button pushing, which gets confusing quickly. Anyway, I was happy with this photo. Focus was nice and sharp. It was taken at 7:50PM, shooting out of the upstairs window of my granddaughter's bedroom.

The next day (Sunday, 5/15/22: Eclipse day) the optimal eclipse viewing time was supposed to be between 8:30-9:30PM. Moonrise wasn't until 7:30PM, and I was worried the moon might be too low on the horizon at 8:30PM (my neighbor's roofline might be blocking my view). I set up my tripod and camera about 7:30PM and crossed my fingers.

I got lucky! By about 8:15PM, the moon was just visible above my neighbors roofline. My first few shots were junk. The partial eclipse just didn't photograph well, with a section of the moon being extremely bright and the rest being in deep shadow. The photo above (8:29PM) has just a hint of non-eclipsed moon in the upper right. It was thrilling to watch, and so interesting how the white areas of the moon slowly become red-orange (or blood-colored), and the dark areas became blue.

8:37PM

8:39PM

8:49PM

8:51PM
 
By about 9PM, the moon was fully eclipsed and almost invisible to the naked eye, and it became impossible to focus the camera. I also needed to increase my exposure time, which is not a good thing. You might have noticed the last two photos are looking a little blurry, and it's because the eclipsed moon was too dark for accurate focus. But I learned an important lesson about taking photos early in the eclipse cycle, before the moon becomes to dark to focus on. Oh, and by about 9:15PM, I heard a voice: "Grampa, will you please stop taking pictures, I have school tomorrow and need to go to bed!!" OK Lilly, night night!
 
Linking with Skywatch Friday.
Thanks for stopping by!!

38 comments:

  1. Dam I knew you would get that, all we had was cloud so could see nothing. You got some nice shots of the moon

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  2. Wow, beautiful shots! Must have been amazing in person!

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  3. ...beautiful, I slept through it!

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  4. Incredible photographs you captured there. Give my thanks to granddaughter for letting you use your room.
    I was ready but we had cloud cover the whole time!! So I will enjoy your photos.

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  5. I can't take good shots of the moon. Yours are all wonderful. Thanks for sharing the eclipse with me.

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  6. Very rude of the eclipse to be on a school night. Great images. I do like a good shot of the moon.

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  7. These are really fantastic. What is the dot next to it?

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    1. Thanks, Lydia. I wondered about that dot as well. Just a star I guess. I noticed it's slow movement and slight change in position to the moon over the 20 mintes or so that I was taking pictures.

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  8. Amazing photos, but I absolutely loved your granddaughter's comment! :)

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  9. Excellent photos of moon before and during eclipse. Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Well done! I didn’t even try because so many photographers are more skilled at this.

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  11. Amazing pics of Moon, Loved the post.

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  12. I missed it but you got me covered. Moon is not the easiest thing to photograph. You did well.

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  13. Great shots! I missed it this year because the sky was too cloudy.

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  14. A wonderful sideline from the desert but executed as well as that.

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  15. Marvelous shots, glad to see it as here we couldn't view it due to the clouds

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  16. Well done! I super-like the red moon. 🌛

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  17. Wow, that is truly a wonderful sight!

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  18. I enjoyed each of your shots, and it was so nice to see this because I missed the eclipse (cloudy). Where I live, totality wasn't until after midnight so I probably wouldn't have made it anyway. Thank you!

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  19. Wonderful shots! By the time the cloud cover left here, I was fast asleep and missed it all.

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  20. Wonderful capture. My phone couldn't hack it.

    Worth a Thousand Words

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  21. I missed it. It was raining here.

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  22. Very beautiful
    Have a wonderful weekend

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  23. Great shots of the blood red lunar eclipse. Enjoy your weekend.

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  24. Beautiful captures, my compliments.

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  25. We had rain and overcast skies all day, but it cleared up in time to see the moon :) Your photos are amazing!

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  26. Your photos of the moon eclipse are g-r-e-a-t! Cloudy here no view of moon at all. What a rip!

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  27. You did a great job. I can't help but wonder at how frightening seeing this must have been thousands of years ago.

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  28. We missed out this time. Then again you need something other than just the moon in the photo to make it interesting.

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  29. It's a beautiful post and I am going to go and delete my feeble efforts right now! (I am just kidding about that because mediocre photography skills have never stopped me.)

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  30. Bloody indeed. Plus, I spotted the teeth below. Another great hike, with a unique arch.

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  31. Great photos! I've never tried...

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  32. Fantastic photos of the lunar eclipse! Our skies were uncharacteristically overcast that evening where I live.

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  33. Perfect pictures! I wanted to watch it but it was so late at night.

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