Eclipse of the Moon

January 31, 2019  •  26 Comments

Lunar EclipseLunar Eclipse

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. 

Full Moon PortraitFull Moon Portrait

Practice Shot.

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.

Moonrise Before SunsetMoonrise Before Sunset

Super Moonrise 2018

New Moon Gradient

Here's the bigger picture, early morning over St. Vincent Island...

Sunrise MoonriseSunrise Moonrise

Sunrise Moonrise


Crescent Moon

Dead Lakes MoonriseDead Lakes Moonrise

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 LighthouseBig Moon Lighthouse

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.

Heron MoonriseHeron Moonrise

Heron Moonrise

Super Moon UpSuper Moon Up

Super Moon Rising

The Grackle & the MoonThe Grackle & the Moon

The Grackle & the Moon

Super_Moon_PanoSuper_Moon_Pano Super Moon Panorama

Fiddler in MoonlightFiddler in MoonlightWakulla Beach morning and evening

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 MarshMoonset Over MarshSt. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, FL.

Moonset Over Marsh

Moon HaloMoon Halo

Moon Halo

Moon Light HouseMoon Light HouseSt. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Sunset - Full Moon rise - St. Marks Photo Club


When the moon rises over the sea...

Moon Over Craggy PeaksMoon Over Craggy PeaksOn my way home from Apalachicola, I saw the moon just beginning to break through the clouds on the horizon. Pulled off the road and scrambled down the rocks to the water's edge. Composed and focused with a flashlight and hoped for the best.

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.

Moon Shadow RockersMoon Shadow Rockers Moon Rockers

Here's a 2017 super moon from "Gator Country", Newnans Lake in Gainesville. Nice of that gator to show up for my photo...

Super MoonriseSuper Moonrise 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.


W. George Fong(non-registered)
I missed the Super Moon watching. Your beautiful photos filled my gap. I will never be able to catch what you had.
Nancy T. Brown(non-registered)
These are all beautiful and make me miss that area. So much.
Elizabeth M McCommon(non-registered)
Magnificent! I'm with Betty Hudson. Can't pick a favorite. They are all winners!
Linda Prideaux(non-registered)
Absolutely stunning! Thank you
Faith Campbell(non-registered)
David - stupendous as always. One gorgeous view after another. I agree completely about the beauty & mystery of full moon rises - my first sight of wood ducks came because I was using the binoculars to enhance the view of a moon rising behind dead trees in "my" swamp in NJ.
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