Blood Moon Eclipse July 2018

I didn’t really expect it to be as stunning as it was…. just how beautiful and grounding the sight of the moon turning blood red and for such a length of time. The light played on the perimeter of the moon giving it a 3-dimensional aspect rather than the regular flat white of a full moon that we are used to seeing.

Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion

I went to Cape Sounion to view the spectacle, initially picking a spot just outside the resort facing the Temple of Poseidon across the water…but I wasn’t sure that I would get the moon right behind it so when I saw people still moving around up on the temple I thought it would be neat to go up there and perhaps get a shot of it standing right behind it. So I rushed up to get a shot from there. However, I was sooo disappointed when they told us the temple was closing! No time to go back down, so I found a spot in the parking lot under a covered area which sheltered me from other lights contaminating the images.

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I am still on a learning curve when it comes to night photography so after some trial and error to get the right settings (and fighting my initial disappointment and frustration and anger at losing my first position) I got happier as the night progressed. I had to keep shifting my settings as the phenomenon developed starting at  ISO 400 f/8 at 1/160sec then for the blood moon as it filled I went to ISO 400 f/8 at 1,6sec, then at full blood moon ISO 800 f/8 and 2sec, also tried ISO 1000 f/9 and 2sec, working up to ISO 8000 f/7 at 1/10sec.

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Phases of the Lunar Eclipse to Blood Moon

A mistake I made was dropping to slower than 1/20th sec shutter speed since I was on my 70-200mm lens. A better choice would probably have been to either open my aperture more and/or increase my ISO. As my brother says, don’t forget you’re on a spinning ball! So you need to adjust for that movement, as small as it may seem.  I also found it super helpful to focus (always on manual) through Live View as my eyes were going funny looking through the viewfinder.

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Phases of the Blood Moon

All in all, however, I was pleased with the result and managed to get some good shots which I used to created phases of the moon on photoshop.

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Blood Moon with Mars visible bottom right

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