Super Blood Wolf Lunar Eclipse of 2019
Media hype for the "Super Blood Wolf Lunar Eclipse of 2019" conjured up enough momentum in me that, despite having had little sleep the nights before (kayak camping) and a commitment to take Crystal to to airport at 5 AM Monday morning, I was determined to drag myself out of bed at midnight that Sunday night to make a "quick photo". I admit I was a little skeptical about all the blood and wolf super-stuff. Boy was I wrong. Wow, what a heavenly show! After I made my photo (which proved more challenging than I anticipated), I joyfully continued to lay out in the cold on my gravel driveway and watch the unfolding drama.
This paragraph is the backstory, with a few technical details, for those interested (some have even asked): I used my Canon 6D with 500 mm prime lens plus 2x teleconverter, iso 2500, 1 second at f/8 (wide open with the teleconverter) on Gitzo tripod with gimbal head. I practiced on the (much brighter) full moon earlier in the evening (below shot) and thought I was ready. NOT. A little before midnight, the eclipsing moon was almost straight overhead. My tripod with the big heavy rig atop it was not stable when configured to point straight up. (Not to mention, hard to look through the viewfinder.) With that much zoom and long exposure, even the slightest vibration ruined the shot, so ultimately I resorted to shortening the tripod legs a lot and bracing the upward-pointing lens against the side of our deck as I wriggled on my back to get my head under it. I did have to get in and out of this restrictive position a couple times so I could get some chair cushions - the gravel was cold and bumpy. I manually focused and shot in LiveView so the mirror was locked up. And then, finally, I could get a sharp shot. I made about 10 bracketed shots over about 20 minutes before I was satisfied.
When you chance upon a view of the moon, especially low in the sky, are you awed by it? By its beauty? by its seeming impossibility? By the vast soft nightlight it reflects from the not-visible sun? This celestial orb has long captured my imagination and focus. Here are my favorites among the moonshots I've made over the years.
Super Moonrise 2018
New Moon Gradient
Here's the bigger picture, early morning over St. Vincent Island...
Dead Lakes Moonrise
John and I scouted out this scene in the Dead Lakes, secured the boat (to be able to make longish exposures), poured a glass of wine, and waited for the moonrise, as this gorgeous sunset unfolded before us.
Big Moon Lighthouse
Big Moon Lighthouse is a photo of the 2011 super moon. This took a lot of scouting and planning (with a handheld compass guesstimation of exactly where the moon would come up). And actually, full disclosure, I missed by a few degrees, so this is a composite of two photos, where I slid the moon a little to the left so it would be behind the tiny distant lighthouse - but I did NOT change the zoom or size or position relative to either frame.
Below are a few shots made at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, my favorite Big Sky location.
Super Moon Rising
The Grackle & the Moon
Super Moon Panorama
Fiddler in the Moonlight
This fiddler crab is at St. Marks, but is NOT in moonlight - that's just the title (based on much lighting effort and crab cooperation)... which is the only justification for being in this post.
Moonset Over Marsh
When the moon rises over the sea...
Moon Over Craggy Peaks
Full Moon Rising over Gulf
Super Moon Rising
Sun & Moon Rise
Moon Rockers -below - is a portrait of a group of friends (including Crystal and I at the right end) enjoying a rising full moon after a fine dinner at a cabin in Apalachicola, Florida. The shadows cast are entirely from moonlight. Sublime evening.
Here's a 2017 super moon from "Gator Country", Newnans Lake in Gainesville. Nice of that gator to show up for my photo...
Super Moonrise & Gator
I'll end with a moon over our upper Suwannee River camping trip 2016. This year, my men's group camped a few nights at the Gulf-end of the Suwannee -- the trip mentioned in my opening sentence -- the day of the lunar eclipse - opening photo.
Well, enough mooning for all of us today. I hope you've enjoyed the show, and have a chance to watch the moon float up from the horizon one evening soon. Please leave a comment below, and share the link for this post with friends and family and social media.