The Phases of Moon Photography

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Maybe it’s because it’s just about a couple of hundred thousand miles from the Earth, but the moon is quite a challenge to photograph. In fact, prior to my arrival into the world of DSLR photography last year, I don’t think I ever successfully captured anything better than a weird lunar blob.

Sunday night’s Super Blood Harvest [Insert Adjective Here] Moon Eclipse gave me the perfect opportunity for some celestial snapshots–and though my fairly standard lens could never do it justice (I’ll leave that to the experts), I think I did all right for a first-timer!

It took a lot of tries to get there, though…

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…starting out with the obligatory “accidental shot taken as I was setting up the exposure that makes the world look like aliens have already landed.”

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This was quickly followed by the equally obligatory “big cosmic blur” photograph. Is it really the moon, or just someone pointing a flashlight at the camera? The truth is out there…

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Now that’s more like it! After consulting with someone whose camera skills are rather more advanced than mine, I managed to catch the moon looking lovely before the main event.

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I had never seen a full lunar eclipse before Sunday, and watching the slow slide of that curved shadow across the moon gave me chills. How phenomenal to watch the moon vanish into darkness so quickly!

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I also managed to capture more accidental extraterrestrial-like activity, thanks to my shaky hand and a very long exposure.

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I even managed to create a weird double moon effect! Isn’t beginner photography the best?

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Sadly, although I was able to get some fairly decent images of the full moon and the eclipse, that deep orange effect that followed remained elusive. No matter how hard I tried, the picture that showed up afterwards never matched the incredible effects that my eye could see.

After a point, then, I decided to let the pros preserve the blood moon for posterity, and just enjoy its ephemeral beauty while I could–better to stare up at the sky than at my ISO settings screen, anyway!

Did you manage to photograph this most super of moons?

2 thoughts on “The Phases of Moon Photography

  1. I didn’t even attempt taking a picture, so you’re a huge step ahead of me. When I was younger, I wanted to be an astronomer and I dreamed of a camera I could attach to my telescope to take pictures. Maybe someday… 😉

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