Lunar eclipse

I only learnt yesterday evening that there was going to be a lunar eclipse this morning. I did a trial photo in the evening, just after the moon had risen.

Then I was up again at 4am, feverishly reading up at the last moment how you take photos at night, before dressing up for the cold night.

It was a magnificent full ‘red’ moon, hanging out of the lightly clouded sky, above the dip in the hills called le Col de Mouzoules. It appeared to have its own brilliant white halo. The eclipse was to happen around six, but already by 4.30 the moon was taking on a strange aspect

I rushed to get my camera and tripod and went out into the sub-zero night.  What a pity it was so cold; the clouds had disappeared and the whole sky was a carpet of twinkling stars, though the moon had lost its halo.

Slowly, over the next hour, you could see the shadow caused by Earth gradually moving over the moon. Difficult to describe but the effect was magical. Even more difficult to photograph without experience and lacking an appropriate telephoto lens. I popped outside several times to have a try. I got some shots before the eclipse became total – but then I could no longer see where the moon was through my camera lens. (My efforts were not helped by having an extremely dirty lens, as I discovered later!)

Meanwhile my friend Dessa was doing the same thing, a few kilometres away – with an iPhone!  Here is her take on the full eclipse.

Oh well, I have another three years in which to master the art of lunar photography before the next total eclipse.

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