Super Blood Moon 2015

by Frits Habermann

Super Blood Moon 2015

Sunday, September 27th 2015 was a special evening with a super blood moon. A supermoon is when the full moon is visible at its closest position to earth, and a blood moon is a lunar eclipse. The simultaneous occurrence (a super blood moon) hasn’t happened since 1982, and won’t happen again until 2033. Here are a few shots from the evening.


Moon framed by tree. Nikon D810, 600mm f4, 2-shot focal blend, f4.5 @ 1 second, ISO 800

Moon framed by tree. Nikon D810, 600mm f4, 2-shot focal blend, f4.5 @ 1 second, ISO 800

This shot is two shots overlapping; one to get the moon in focus, and the other to get the leaves in focus. The moon was actually quite dark, so getting it tack sharp was difficult. Having a loupe was essential to get the moon as sharp as possible.

 

Nikon D810, 600mm f4, f4 @ 1 second, ISO 800

Nikon D810, 600mm f4, f4 @ 1 second, ISO 800

I was very pleased when I looked at the LCD screen to see the moon on the star field. During the eclipse, I could keep the exposure and focus the same through many shots, and it was more about watching the light start creeping up the bottom left of the moon as the earth’s shadow began to recede.

 

Nikon D810, 600mm f4, f4 @ 1 second and 1/320th of a second, 2 shot focal blend, ISO 200

Nikon D810, 600mm f4, f4 @ 1 second and 1/320th of a second, 2 shot focal blend, ISO 200

Creating a composite shot of the moon half in shadow is easy in post production, but impossible if you don’t start with two properly-exposed photos. The first photo was at the previous settings to get the red part of the moon, but that made lower-left (the unexposed part) of the moon “blown out” on its exposure as the earth’s shadow was already halfway receded. So the second shot was at a very fast 1/320th of a second, which made the bright, lower-left part of the moon correctly exposed, but the red part fully dark.

 

Nikond D810, 600mm f4, f11 @ 1/100th sec, ISO 200

Nikond D810, 600mm f4, f11 @ 1/100th sec, ISO 200

The final shot of the night, with the eclipse almost over, and the earth’s shadow inexorably moving up and to the right.

Frits Habermann
Frits is PicMonkey’s chief technology and product monkey, with a long history building software in the graphic and gaming space. Frits lives and breathes nature photography, finding deep meditation in the outdoors and drinking in anything mother nature has to offer; from walks over active lava fields, to doorless helicopter flights over remote landscapes, to immersion into a den of feeding grizzly bears, he’s capable of running away from them all.