By Scott Shephard
A blood moon is so-called because of the red tinge it has when being eclipsed. And this red tinge only occurs when the moon is being lit by the glow of an impending sunrise. In the case of this photo, I was on what I call The Rock at 5:30 am on October 8. I should have been there about an hour earlier.
I was at our cabin in the Black Hills on the night of this full moon but when I woke up at around 3:00 am, it looked like it was cloudy and so I gave up on the thought of going up to my vantage point. But by 5:00 I could see that it was clear. And so I scrambled to get my gear together and make my way to my spot.
It was a spectacular morning - cool and windless. The moon and the stars made no noise as they moved through the early morning sky. And I felt embraced by the silence.
The white on the upper right of the moon is evidence that the moon is starting to come back from the eclipse. If I had been more attentive and ambitious, I would have been here earlier. Then, I think, I would have captured a pure blood moon. Another time? I doubt it. This is one of those occasions that requires a number of things to converge: weather and opportunity being the most important. But I tried. . .
On a technical note, I have little expertise on moon shots and astrophotography. I will say that you are seeing real stars in this photo and that they appear as fairly sharp points of light. With a blood moon, you get both the stars and the moon exposed properly. That's lucky. This is a 2.5 second exposure and when I experimented with longer exposures, both the moon and the stars were blurred. After all, they're moving targets. So are we all. . . .
Canon 5DIII 2.5s f/8.0 ISO2000 200mm