My Adventures In Photography

A while back I started a photography column for my hometown's local newspaper — you'll find all of my columns from those pages here as well as new ones that I write.

To see all of my blog posts to date, click here.

Touching the edge of shadow

 A BLOCKED VIEW: Much of the “super blood moon” was blocked from view last Sunday by cloud-cover. Pictured is the moon just as it exited the shadow of Earth.

A BLOCKED VIEW: Much of the “super blood moon” was blocked from view last Sunday by cloud-cover. Pictured is the moon just as it exited the shadow of Earth.

Many of us in the Big Rapids area were met with disappointment on Sept. 27 when clouds blocked the view of one of the coolest lunar eclipses to happen in years.

The "super blood moon." Ooh, just the name inspires goosebumps.

Well, the view on Sunday didn't.

At all.

It seems that much of the Midwest was met with disappointment because of the overabundance of cloud-cover; Northern Michigan was no exception.

As the name suggests, the “super blood moon” is mean to be extra big and extra red during the eclipse.

Thankfully, during the latter half of the lunar eclipse some of the clouds began to scatter, allowing for brief glimpses at the lunar spectacle.

As you can imagine, I was outdoors for most of the eclipse trying to get a good shot.

Much like in my post, "To reach the moon," I shot the moon with my Canon 5D Mark III with the Canon 100-400mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM lens combination. Thankfully, because this is a "super" moon, I was able to shoot at a shutter speed that didn't require a tripod.

The real trick, however, (besides waiting for those flippin' clouds to clear) was to take two images at different exposures so the image appeared how my eyes saw it.

 These two images were fused together in Adobe Photoshop to create the image at the top of the post. It required two exposures to both show the texture of the moon and to illuminate the clouds as they passed by.

These two images were fused together in Adobe Photoshop to create the image at the top of the post. It required two exposures to both show the texture of the moon and to illuminate the clouds as they passed by.

I took one image at a faster shutter speed to capture the details of the (very) bright moon, and then I quickly turned my shutter speed down (allowing for more light to enter the frame) so that I could get an exposure of how the clouds were illuminated. After that, I took those images back to Photoshop on my computer and fused them together.

During the hour I was out shooting, I got one semi-decent shot of the moon mostly eclipsed, and one really good shot of the moon as the clouds passed by — the rainbow effect on the clouds really made the shot in my opinion, despite the eclipse being mostly over at that point. I placed both of these photos alongside my blog here for your viewing pleasure.

Unfortunately, the next "super blood moon" won't be for another
18 years.

Regardless, while my initial hopes for this event were dashed by the weather (which happens A LOT in Michigan ...), I did come out of it with some decent exposures I'm actually somewhat proud of.