And by cold I mean below zero cold…around 10 below I believe. We had an ice and snow storm the night before which led me to wonder if the moon would even be visible but the storm moved eastward and left us with a very clear sky for the big night.
Preparations had to be made in order to get ready for this photography event. By that I mean we had to unfreeze the back door, shovel snow from the deck and then attempt to chip away at the layer of ice underneath. I walked in snow almost up to my knees in order to clear some area in the back yard in case I felt bold enough to set up my tripod there.
As it turned out it was just too too cold and I never ventured out for any photos further than a foot away from the door so that a quick dash back in the house was readily available. This of course meant that there were some shots taken that were fails – as I did everything hand held – which would’ve turned out much better had I used a tripod. It was just too cold for me.
Years of shooting full and crescent moons thereby honing my skills have paid off in getting the type of shots I want when the moon is full like these two here. I switched between cameras using a 100-400mm lens and a 24-105mm lens.
It was when the moon became darker and darker ending in the blood moon that things became a bit more difficult for me. Photographing the eclipsing and blood moon were firsts for me and I had to guess what settings would work even with my having done some research beforehand.
What I learned is that whatever settings work for the full moon are not going to work for the darker moon. This is where the tripod would’ve come in very handy but oh well! Wanting to stay warmer won that flip of the coin.
As the moon darkened it was necessary to open up the lens, push the ISO (hence the grainier than I wanted to get final image) and adjust the shutter speed to see what combination of settings worked. It’s a work in progress to get it right but as this is the only total lunar eclipse of 2019 and the next one visible here in North America won’t be for several more years… practice time might be difficult.
Regardless of the weather, equipment used or not and experience with the phenomenon, it was a fantastic event to see. I hope wherever you are you were able to witness it too.
(Want tips on how to photograph and edit a full moon? Check out my post here)