Blood Moon - Total Lunar Eclipse

Sunday night I witnessed a lunar eclipse for the first time and it was the most fascinating phenomenon I have ever witnessed in nature. 

Sequence of the lunar eclipse September 2015

Sequence of the lunar eclipse September 2015

After getting about one hour of sleep, I headed out to the mountains at 1AM. I wanted to witness the entire process, from full moon, to total eclipse and back to full moon again. Therefor I headed out 3 hours before the scheduled eclipse took place. My goal was to photograph a sequence of the event, and process it all into one frame. 

Up in the mountain I found the lake as I had planned earlier, and I spent a little time walking around before I found a spot that I liked enough to spend the rest of the night at. As the eclipse was just beginning, the silence I was surrounded with ended. Car after car was passing the lake and groups of people started finding their spots for the event further up the hills. This didn't bother me too much though, and besides a couple werewolf howls it continued to be a rather silent and peaceful night. As I was shooting with intervals of 10-15 minutes, I took the time in between to sit down, gaze at the stars, breath deep and do some light meditation. Even tho I was tired due to the lack of sleep the following day, I have never felt as fresh before!  

A couple fellow photographers and friends met up with me a bit later in the night and we enjoyed each others company during this natural phenomenon. It is always great to photograph along side friends and fellow photographers, and having some company during the night might also help keeping the eyes open.

I haven't been too much into astrophotography earlier, but after this night I am hooked! I'm still in lack of many words to describe the event that took place, and I can't wait until the next time I will have the opportunity to photograph the lunar eclipse. 

To our disappointment fog was coming in over the mountains in the early hours of the morning, blocking the view of the moon. We were not able to see the transformation back to full moon, but since it was getting brighter every minute outside I doubt we missed too much. I still stuck around for sunrise and captured a couple shots of that too!

How I made the image

The image above is as you might understand a collage of multiple images. I used my Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 to capture single images of the moon, with intervals at about 10-15 minutes. By doing this I captured the moon in every scenario I would need it for the final frame. To capture the moon I had to use a quick shutter, so it would not be blown out. 

When the night was turning into morning, and it slowly became brighter, I quickly changed to my Rokinon 14mm f2.8 to capture a single frame of the landscape. I used a shutterspeed of 25 seconds, so I could still keep a low ISO to avoid much noise. 

Back on my computer I carefully selected the moons and placed them on the landscape image. 6 hours of photographing are now concluded into one single image.

And of course I had to get a classic shot too:

Total lunar eclipse - the moon surrounded with stars

Total lunar eclipse - the moon surrounded with stars