Guides

How to Photograph the 2018 Blood Moon

The longest Total Lunar Eclipse of the century (so far!) is set to wow photographers around the world this Friday evening with the added bonus of an unique Blood Moon.

What is a Total Lunar Eclipse/Blood Moon?

Total Lunar Eclipse in 2015
Total Lunar Eclipse in 2015

As we wish for clear skies, this Friday the Earth will squeeze itself between the Sun and Moon in an act that still has astronomers in awe today.

It’s good to note that a Total Lunar Eclipse and a Blood Moon are completely different to a Supermoon or even a Total Solar Eclipse.

During a Lunar Eclipse, the full Moon sits in the darkest shadows of Earth without any sunlight hitting the surface. But, instead of seeing the Moon in total darkness, like in a Solar Eclipse, stray rays of sunlight will pass through the Earth’s atmosphere and hit the moon. Giving the satellite a reddish appearance.

A Blood Moon is not to be confused with a Supermoon
A Blood Moon is not to be confused with a Supermoon

When will the Blood Moon appear?

Have the alarm clocks set for this Friday evening (July 27th). The eclipse will begin roughly around 9pm and last for just under 2 hours (or more if we’re lucky!). This will give plenty of time to get some great snaps!

If you wish to keep track of the 2018 Total Lunar Eclipse, be sure to check out timeanddate.com and enter your location.

How to photograph the Blood Moon

Good stability will eliminate blurry images
Good stability will eliminate blurry images

Unlike during a Solar Eclipse, where special glasses and ND filters are needed, your equipment list will be relatively manageable:

  1. Stability – Stability is essential to capturing the perfect Blood Moon. Find a reliable and strong tripod, like the 3 Legged Thing Corey, and attach your camera. Also, it’s handy to have either a Shutter Release cable, Bluetooth Shutter Remote or even a timer on you camera.
  2. Big Lens – A wide-angle lens will give you a great landscape shot, but to get up-close and personal you’ll want to use a zoom lens. Anything sporting a focal length of at least 200mm will work brilliantly.
  3. High Shutter Speed – As the Moon orbits the Earth and the Earth rotates, you’ll want to eliminate the continual movement by using a high shutter speed. To avoid blur, never use a shutter speed slower than 1/100sec.
  4. High ISO – Remember, as few rays of light are hitting the surface, the moon will be dim. So you’ll want to solve this by using a high ISO setting. It may be ideal to keep taking shots until you get the perfect setting.
  5. Variable Aperture – As the Eclipse begins, start with an aperture of f/11. But as the night goes on you’ll want to widen the aperture and brighten your shot.
  6. Smartphone – You may want to put the camera away and put your smartphone’s super-duper camera abilities to the test. Using the 3 Legged Thing Iggy Tripod Kit and our Bluetooth Shutter Remote, you’ll add great stability to your smartphone photography!

 

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