Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lunar Eclipse 2008

Well, I had high hopes to capture another lunar eclipse series of images last night. But the weather didn’t cooperate. Back in 2004, I was able to make a really nice composite of a couple of dozen photos taken over a three hour period. In that image, you can see the true dark reddish hues of the moon during the fullest moments of the eclipse against the early evening sky.

The image below from last night’s 2008 eclipse only “looks” like it’s full of clear round moons because I forced it to look that way in the masking, but the reddish hues were entirely covered in the mist and haze of the later evening sky. As soon as I took the background shot of the early evening blue sky, the clouds started rolling in and the image I had in mind was pretty much impossible to capture.

Oh well, it was just for fun anyway. If you can call standing in the cold night air for 2 hours fun. But we photographers must suffer for our art. --grin--

Lunar Eclipse 2008


Dion said...

Great photo. I particularly like the one you did in 2004. I'd like to do the same this December (2010). Any tips on how to get such a nice composite? Did you mask the moon as a perfect circle in photoshop or is there some blending going on to make it look more natural? Did you have to adjust your exposure settings as the eclipse progressed? Thanks

Dave said...

Hi Dion,

Pardon me for this extremely tardy reply. I don't recall getting notice of your post.

I hope you had good luck with your eclipse shot in 2010. As for this shot, I literally masked out a circular moon from the area that SHOULD have shown a moon. The clouds were so bad that night, I basically created THIS shot from whole cloth. But the 2004 image was a pretty faithful masking of each moon as it sat in it's spot. I simply placed every moon in the sky in the same place it appeared. But the background image was a much lighter sky in the early twilight. So the red moons seem a bit unreal on such a blue sky.... which was part of the charm for me.