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Blood Moon Eclipse April 2015

Composite of many photos from the April 15, 2014 total lunar eclipse, aka the "Blood Moon." The sequence begins at the upper right and finishes at lower left. The nine individual moon frames were chosen from the best of 70 shots from the full duration of four hours and forty minutes. The Moon's color was different at the end due to atmospheric differences compared to when it was overhead. Some individual frames have had their exposures altered in post to seem more natural. The middle shot is when the Moon was fully in the Earth's shadow. The red hue seen is an actual reflection off the Moon due to the filtered reddish color of all the Earth's sunsets added up and mixed into the Earth's shadow cast onto the Moon.

Just minutes before the eclipse began, the sky was 100% clouded up and snow was falling, as it had been all day. At 12:02am local time, two minutes before the first shot, the clouds fully dispersed and the seeing remained at 100% until literally one minute after the last shot was taken when it reverted back to a cloudy sky. The Chicago area is known for its lousy skies. After missing over 90% of all eclipses, meteor showers and most other astronomical displays over the decades, I feel very lucky to have seen this one at all.

Technical details:
Most shots were handheld at 1/1600, F/8, ISO 800, and manual exposure. The middle "Blood Moon" shot at 0.8 sec, f/9 (a mistake), ISO 800 and on a tripod. All shots with "Daylight" white balance. Canon 5D3 and Canon 400mm 5.6 L lens.

file: total_lunar_eclipse_2014_annotated

David Watts PhotographyGlen Ellyn PhotographerBlood Mooneclipse