Last night was the first of four total lunar eclipses over the next 18 months. The remaining dates are:
October 8th, 2014
April 4th, 2015
September 28th, 2015
What is cool about these astral events is that when the moon completely passes into the earth’s shadow, sunlight bending through the Earth’s atmosphere turns the moon a blood red-orange color (what is known as a Blood Moon).
Although I know such occurrences really get some photographers excited, I have never been much into shooting things so far away. I don’t have a lens longer than 300mm, and getting good night shots requires lots of time sitting in dark places looking up at the sky when I prefer to be in bed. But last night I couldn’t help myself!
Around 10pm I packed up my gear and drove a short distance to a dark field and began taking pictures of the full moon. Here is one shot I managed to grab in-between clouds coming and going:
Not too exciting, but I like how you can see some of the actual craters on the moon. Then I got tired, a bit cold, and decided to call it a night because I could tell the cloud-cover was getting thicker. I drove home and jumped on the computer to finish up some writing before bed. Around 11:30 I made my way to our bedroom that has a huge skylight, assuming I would see nothing but clouds. Huh! wrong. The clouds were gone and the eclipse was in full force! It was too much to resist.
So I drove back to the field and put my attention back on the night sky, knowing that just after midnight the moon would be totally eclipsed by the Earth’s shadow. Here is an image a few minutes before midnight.
The very colorful first image above was taken a few minutes after midnight before the total eclipse. It was enhanced in post-processing, but not as much as you may think. It turns out the camera can see far more than the human eye. While I did play around with basic exposure settings in Lightroom to enhance the light and color, I did not bring this image into Photoshop and add anything that was not already there. I know many will say this shot does not accurately depict the blood moon, and to the human eye, I would agree. But many things in life occur outside of our awareness, which doesn’t mean they are not real or don’t exist. Our work in life is about awakening to who we are beyond what we know from our senses.