Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Photographing The 2019 Super Blood Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse

(If you don't like reading, or want to see more, there's a vlog episode I did at the end of this)

Well that was definitely an interesting adventure. As per my usual, things did not go according to plans, lol. Mostly due to the fact that the weather, both outside, and on the radar, told us that it would be mostly cloudy all night. So we spent a long time trying to hunt down places that we thought might have some breaks in the clouds and finally settled on Rockhound State Park, just south of Deming, NM. It was pretty cloudy when we showed up, but we went ahead and hiked out to try and find a composition anyway. I would definitely have preferred to have more time when scouting for a composition, but work with what you got right. So after a short hike around the moonlit desert, we found this spot and a somewhat interesting foreground with the big cactus and then with the mountain in the background. Once we got set up and started taking some test images and figuring out exposures and compositions for where the moon was actually going to be in 2 hours, I realized it would be a bit harder than the previous times I've shot eclipses. This was to due the moon's altitude and azimuth being much higher than I had hoped. I was also bored with just straight close up telephoto shots, as I have done that for the past few times and it's pretty much the same shot every time. So this time I wanted to do a wider shot and include some landscape and a human element for a more compelling and interesting image. I found two spots to try this, the first with a big cactus, and then I put Brittany behind it, in the middle of the image, and the second on a trail that was leading up to the mountain and in the right direction of where the moon would be at full eclipse. For this one I put myself in there and held up a light right under the moon. All the while all of this was going on, I had another camera with a longer (but not too long) lens set up and was getting some slightly closer shots of the eclipse as it went through the first half. This was so that I could put those together for the composite to show the sequence and path of the eclipse over the wider landscape image I got. I had to do some exposure blending to get everything looking right, and I was going to do some focus stacking, but I forgot. Probably because my mind was too busy trying to vlog also, and just doing too many things at once. In the end though, I think it came out alright. I might like my images from last year a bit better, but I'm not sure yet. Either way, it was still a great experience to be lucky enough to watch and capture, and even if I didn't come home with anything I'm still stoked to have been out for it.