By Scott Shephard
My earliest memory of looking up and seeing the moon in the night sky was after watching the thrilling moments of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepping onto the moon in 1969. I was at a friend's house and we were watching a fuzzy image on a black and white TV. Millions of others were tuned in world wide to the same ghostly images.
At one point I told Dan that I was going home to watch on my own TV. I remember stepping outside, looking up in wonder at the moon and running shin first into the picnic table that was in the Haggar's back yard. I don't remember the pain. I just remember the moon.
I've been a lunaphile ever since and it was my lunaphilia that got me up and driving north of Watertown at 3 am a few mornings ago. Not only was there a full moon on this morning but there was to be a lunar eclipse. And even more exciting, because the moon was eclipsing close to the western horizon as the sun came up in the east, there was the promise of a blood moon, where the eclipsed moon is tinged red from the glow of the rising sun.
I will spare you the technical details and say only, as I have said before, you should have been there. The sequence you see here spans 20 minutes. More experienced photographers would have figured out how to get the whole sequence from one camera position. With what I've learned, I'm now waiting for another eclipse. I've got September 28, 2015 marked on my calendar.
Oh, and I should say, that the blood moon wasn't visible in my part of the world. Unfortunately, by the time the moon was fully eclipsed, the moon was obscured by low clouds. Check out this comparison, where you see the moon just starting to be covered by the earth's penumbra (which means "almost a shadow.") The photo on the right was the last shot I got before the moon disappeared in shadow. The reddish color isn't a blood moon. When one of those is visible, it's the eclipsed part that turns red. (See my blood moon photo taken in October 2014.)
Canon 5DIII 1/60s f/5.6 ISO200 400mm (Canon 70-200mm with 2x telextender)