On the night of Sunday, January 20, 2019, we observed the first lunar eclipse of 2019. This eclipse was a “Super Blood Wolf Moon” lunar eclipse to be specific–‘super’ since it was when the moon is closest during its orbit around the earth, ‘blood’ due to the red/orange hue achieved during totality, and ‘wolf’ since that is apparently what you call a full moon that occurs in January.
Being located in the far north region of the Western Hemisphere has its advantages when it comes to nighttime cosmic events. Little light pollution and the long periods of darkness that accompany winter make Alaska an incredible locale for viewing the northern lights (aurora borealis), meteor showers, and lunar eclipses–like the one we enjoyed last night.
For this shoot, I carried my Canon T6i accompanied by my Tamron 150-600mm G2 and this cheap but awesome tripod by Dolica. I shot in full manual mode, aperture at f/6.3, ISO 100, and shutter speeds ranging from 1/500 of a second all the way down to 2.0 full second long exposure. I attempted longer exposures to let in some stars, but the two feet of uneven snow & ice I was standing in, plus my trembling hands (it was 1 degree out!) proved to make any longer exposures turn out too blurry. And before you ask–yes, I know I should get a remote but my camera’s built-in 10 second timer is the only thing in the budget for now!
I knew I wanted to create a composite of the different phases during this three hour event–so of course I started researching on YouTube approximately two minutes after I realized that the eclipse had already begun. <Sidenote, I found this simple and awesome shortcut-ish vid here, thanks Matt!> I walked to the back of our yard every ten minutes to adjust the angle of my lens, check shutter speed, and click a couple photos. Then I would come back in, warm up, and start editing what I had so far. That’s the thing about these kind of events–you have to work fast and get your pics online before everyone stops caring two days later. (Lucky for me I’m posting this only a day later.. so you still care, right?)