Breakdown of a Lunar Eclipse Shoot

Do You Have Plans to Shoot The Blue Moon This Month?

The planning started weeks in advance, looking at the timing of the eclipse, the direction of the moon, and at prior shots like the moon set above from 2010 that seemed like a good concept to re-shoot with a moon in some phase of eclipse.  I decided to try to place the moon on top of the South Tower of the bridge, worked out the geometry to estimate the moon’s elevation, looked in an app to determine its compass direction at that time, and where I should stand.

So after you decide to shoot an early morning lunar eclipse, what’s the next logical thing to do? Pick a spot for the prior sunset of course. Marin County’s Rodeo Beach fit the bill nicely for a relaxing sunset.

Pacific Sunset

A trip to Japan Center for sushi later, and it’s too early for sleep, so a little night photography along the San Francisco waterfront helps put a few more travel images on the card and burn off a few dinner calories.

Bay Bridge at Night

Wake up at 3am, and go get a nice moon shot from the Crissy Field area:

Total Lunar Eclipse January 31, 2018

This image was exposed for 15 seconds at f/8, ISO 200 on a Canon EOS 70D with a lens at 381mm using a Canon 70-200mm f/4 IS L Series lens plus EF 2X III teleconverter. After the APS-C crop factor, the equivalent focal length was 610mm! The camera setup was on an iOptron SkyTracker, so the longest exposures in the sequences I was shooting could easily be 15 to 20 seconds at ISO 200.

What next? You’ve chosen the spot anticipating the moon approaching the Golden Gate Bridge, so when it’s close enough you can include the bridge in compositions:

Lunar Eclipse Over the Golden Gate Bridge

But the real alignment you’ve calculated from the height of the bridge, the distance to the bridge, and the compass direction is the moon passing the top of the South Tower of the Golden Gate Bridge. But you forgot to subtract out the elevation of your shooting position from the height of the bridge, so the moon is about 1/2 moon width, about 0.25 degrees, too high. So you move about a dozen feet to your left, compose over the shoulders of a couple of photographers, and get the composition that you envisioned weeks earlier:

Lunar Eclipse Teed Up

The recent weather and the forecast called for partly cloudy conditions, and at times there was definitely a thin haze that the moon was shining through, but there was also a challenge that I don’t usually have to deal with back home in the high desert: condensation!  For a while I had to wipe my lens every few shots to remove it.  Astrophotographers sometimes use heaters on their telescopes, photographers shooting on a dewy morning can improvise using gaffer’s tape and hand warmers.

That’s not the end of the fun, as sunset light paints the sky while the moon dropped into the bridge.  Fortunately the atmospheric haze also cleared up significantly.

California astrophotography

Sunrise approaches as the partially-eclipsed moon sets behind the Golden Gate Bridge.

As it descends further, while shooting the lunar eclipse through San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, for a matter of seconds I decided to try to silhouette a vehicle against the setting, partially-eclipsed moon. A large delivery truck fit the bill nicely. I was shooting at 400mm, so I had to anticipate the movement of the vehicle enough ahead of time to leave mirror lock-up on!

Early Morning Delivery

Note the rough edge to the moon. At this high degree of telephoto, on the moon in the lower couple of degrees of elevation when our view of it is through a lot of turbulent air, the view of the moon is visibly distorted. No doubt there will be many faked shots from this eclipse as usual, and a recent article on FStoppers discusses some of the ways you can spot them.

So to summarize, anticipating an interesting place to capture the mono alongside earth-bound features using apps like PhotoPills and The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE) enables the capture of many compositions beyond “Just another lunar eclipse shot”… not that there’s anything wrong with that!

So once the eclipse is “in the can” (like a reel of exposed movie film), what next? Think of something to shoot while you’re in the are, or on your way home! A quick detour to the California Coast, the Mendocino area in this case, fit the bill nicely.

After the Eclipse
Astronomical events aren’t just opportunities for astrophotography, they are a great excuse to get out. travel, and shoot!  The weather can be surprisingly warm along the California Coast in the winter given the heat sink effect of the water and the lower winds compared to summer.  Temperatures in the high 50s by noon and walking down Main Street Mendocino, I had to take off and carry my jacket as I became too hot to wear it.

Post-Eclipse Sunset

Share This:

Moon Rise and Ice On A Salty Lake

Blue Hour Moon Rise

Moon rise Mono Lake, New Years Eve

New Years Eve moon rise at Mono Lake

2018 has already gotten off to a great start, as I enjoyed a great sunset at Mono Lake on New years Eve, then the “supermoon” moon rise at Mono Lake on New Years Day. The angles and timing of the moon rise vs. the sunset seemed to work out well for Mono Lake for both dates. On the first evening, the clouds interfered with the moon rise, but clearer skies to the west let the sun’s light through, for a great sunrise.

The second night, the moon was a little bright relative to the landscape as it rose, but the view of it was uninterrupted, so I was able to capture a nice sequence of moon rise shots as the moon rose over Mono Lake’s interesting “tufa” calcium carbonate rock formations.

One of the most fascinating details, particularly on the first night, was the ice forming on the surface of the lake. Temperatures were close to freezing, but Mono Lake is nearly 3X saltier than the ocean, so ice would not normally form on the lake at that temperature. Mono Lake’s tufa rock formations form underwater, where springs deliver calcium-laden water. I noticed in places where fresh water was upwelling to the surface, spreading out and then freezing as it cooled. Apparently in the winter when there is little or no wind to encourage mixing, the fresh and salt water does not necessarily mix well and the less dense fresh water rises tot he top and can freeze. You never know what interesting things you’re going to see next as you spend time outdoors!

Mono Lake Icy Sunset Reflection

Mono Lake Icy Sunset Reflection

The other photos from the sunset weren’t too shabby either. I’m so fortunate to live surrounded by such great scenery and weather!

Eastern Sierra landscape photography.

New Years Eve sunset reflection at Mono Lake, California.

Share This:

2017 Best Nine: Nature, Landscape, Travel Photography

2017 Best Nine photographs from California

2017 BestNine photographs by Jeff Sullivan Photography.

There a site that can analyze your Instagram feed and arrange the nine most popular ones into a new image for you to share. Scroll to the bottom here to create yours:

Drop by my #2017BestNine on Instagram and leave a comment to let me know when you’ve uploaded yours, and I’ll go check yours out!
https://www.instagram.com/p/BdU4kyqjrJv/?taken-by=jeffsullivanphotography

The site will also let you create your #2016BestNine if you haven’t already done so:
Best Nine of 2016?

Last year I also created my #2015BestNine, as shown here:
Best Nine of 2015?

Another option you have is to include statistics on your account for the year:

2017 Best Nine photographs from California

2017 BestNine photographs by Jeff Sullivan Photography.

It says roughly 40,000 “views”, but they seem to actually be likes. If the views-to-likes ratio is similar on Instagram to what I see on Flickr, the views would be roughly 10X more, or 400,000.

I had a few more “views” (or likes) in 2016, but had to upload more photos to get them:

2016 Best Nine photographs from California

2016 BestNine photographs by Jeff Sullivan Photography.

Overall my audience growth is pretty slow on Instagram, and I still have a lot more views on Flickr, the photos get views for longer, and the strong keyword tagging and search features means that the photos get found occasionally for commercial licensing. Obviously Instagram’s parent company Facebook has tremendous resources to invest in Instagram, and with nearly 600 photos there already, I remain optimistic that I’ll see more of an uptick in activity on my photos on Instagram in 2018!

My most popular photo on Flickr, with 1,538,443 likes, 21,292 favs, 1023 comments:
Water Cuts Rock

My most popular photo on Instagram?  886 likes, 33 comments:


The stats themselves don’t mean much, obviously I’m focusing on my photography not social media or I’d have more Instagram activity.  If I produce compelling work, the rest will eventually take care of itself.  But with little times to spend on social media and photo sharing sites, it’s useful to pay attention to where what little time I do have is best spent. So I’ll continue to pay attention to where my photography seems to get the best reception.

Other ways to look back at my new 2017 images and fresh edits of older ones?  I collected my favorites in a post on this blog:
Top 10 Travel Photos 2017

I selected those from over 100 that I nominated during the year as I was taking them, stored in a 2017 Favorites album on Flickr:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffreysullivan/albums/72157676554197004

Share This:

Recent Artwork Uploaded for Printing and Gifts

Prints, mugs, T-shirts, and more, available for a limited time only, all with a money-back guarantee from Fine Art America:
Photography Prints

Sell Art Online

Sell Art Online

Sell Art Online

Sell Art Online

Art Prints

Photography Prints

Photography Prints

See more of my current print and gift offerings at:
https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/jeff-sullivan.html

Share This:

Spring in Yosemite Photography Workshop Highlights, 2017

Sun Rays on Yosemite Valley Morning Fog (color)

Sun Rays on Yosemite Valley Morning Fog (color)

Yosemite Valley SpringWe had great conditions for my Yosemite in Spring photography workshop in May, 2017: mixed weather with morning fog, brief rain to created mist alongside Yosemite’s granite monoliths, clouds to decorate sunrise, “moonbow” lunar rainbows at night, a rainbow in Bridalveil Fall that I anticipated from the sun elevation and compass direction, blooming dogwood trees and wildflowers, waterfalls, creeks in high spring flow, and so much more. Of course all of this needed to be experienced from the right vantage point at the right time of day.

Outdoor Photographer Magazine published today that they selected one of my photos from this workshop as the winning image for their recent Iconic Locations challenge.  See their write-up on their site for more information on how the image was created:
https://www.outdoorphotographer.com/iconic-locations-assignment-winner-jeff-sullivan/

OP was kind enough to share the image on their Facebook page and Twitter timeline as well:

Congratulations to @jeffsullivanphotography for winning the recent Iconic Locations Assignment with the image, Sun Rays on Yosemite Valley Morning Fog. “On this sunrise at Yosemite’s iconic Tunnel View overlook, it had rained the day before, but the skies were forecast to clear up overnight, so I figured that it would cool down enough to have the water vapor condense as a ground fog. When we arrived the next morning, it was just thick enough to reach the treetops, creating some nice photographic opportunities. “There had been several dozen people at this viewpoint minutes before the sun rays appeared, but once the sun cleared the mountains, nearly everyone decided to go get breakfast. Someone in my workshop asked about that, but I said, “Let’s give it another five minutes.” Sure enough, when the sun closed the gap in the clouds and started shining down between them, light rays started moving around the Valley. “The dynamic range of the scene was too great for one exposure, so the sun ray image was created from five bracketed exposures, adjusted in Adobe Lightroom and combined in PhotomatixPro HDR software.” * * * #OPAssignments #iconiclocations #travel #adventure #tunnelview #Yosemite #landscape_lovers #sky_captures #landscapephotography #fantastic_earth #landscape_captures #ic_landscapes #ig_exquisite #ourplanetdaily #landscapelovers #instanaturelover #welivetoexplore #allnatureshots #specialshots #landscapestyles @yosemitenps

A post shared by Outdoor Photographer Magazine (@outdoorphotomag) on

Here are more images from that great photography workshop in Yosemite National Park in May:

Yosemite Light Rays on Valley Fog

Yosemite Light Rays on Valley Fog

Light Rays On Morning Fog

Light Rays On Morning Fog

Yosemite Valley Morning Light

Yosemite Valley Morning Light

Rainbow in the Mist

Rainbow in the Mist, Bridalveil Fall, Yosemite National Park, California

Moonbow Reflections 2017

Moonbow Reflections 2017, Upper Yosemite Fall, Yosemite Valley.

Half Dome Behind Parting Clouds

Half Dome Behind Parting Clouds

Climber Lights on El Capitan

Climber Lights on El Capitan

Morning Fog in Yosemite Valley

Morning Fog in Yosemite Valley

See other posts on this site for more images from my photography workshops in 2017: www.JeffSullivanPhotography.com

I’ll release 2018 dates shortly. Let me know if you’d like me to notify you when they’re released.

Half Dome Morning Reflection

Half Dome Morning Reflection

Lower Yosemite Falls Moonbow

Lower Yosemite Falls Moonbow

Confluence

Confluence

Cloud Forest

A post shared by Jeff Sullivan (@jeffsullivanphotography) on

Share This:

Top 10 Travel Photos: 2017

Geyser Basin Milky Way and Meteor

Geyser Basin Milky Way and Meteor – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

This year was another productive one for landscape and night photography, with some nice results produced from Death Valley, California to Yellowstone, Wyoming.  Some of the nicer results produced from trips taken in prior years included results from several trips to Utah.  Two upgrades I made during the year that helped recover more results included Lightroom 6 and Photomatix 6.  See my recent post “Why Do Your Fall Images Look Better This Year?” for more on that.  I successfully avoided camera upgrades, but soon I’ll take critical looks at the latest Canon and Nikon models.

Death Valley sand dunes in sunset light, California desert

Death Valley Dunes in Sunset Light

Yosemite's El Capitan in the Fall, Yosemite National Park, alifornia

El Capitan and Fall Colors, Yosemite National Park

Sunrise and weather photography in Yosemite National Park, California

Light Rays in Yosemite Ground Fog, Yosemite National Park, California

The image above was one of several of my images featured by the Yosemite Conservancy on their social media channels in 2017.

Merced River Morning Light Reflection, Yosemite National Park, California

Merced River Morning Light Reflection, Yosemite National Park

Milky Way Over Fall Colors. Eastern Sierra, California. Astrophotography.

Milky Way Over Eastern Sierra Fall Colors

Surrounded

Lone aspen tree surrounded by a forest of aspen. Eastern Sierra, California

Yosemite Morning Sun Rays

Morning Sun Rays, Yosemite National Park, California

The image above was Outdoor Photographer Magazine’s “Iconic Locations” assignment winner.

Storm Chasing in the Eastern Sierra

Storm Chasing in the Eastern Sierra, California

Star Trails With Vertical Milky Way Reflection

Star Trails With Vertical Milky Way Reflection, Sierra Nevada, California

Sunrise Rain Shower, Mono Lake, Eastern Sierra, California

Runners UpSunrise Rain Shower Reflection – Mono Lake, California

Geminid Meteor Shower, Nikon D750

Geminid Meteor Shower, Death Valley National Park, California


Another take on 2017 is the collection of most-liked photos I uploaded to Instagram:

New 2017 Results from Past Years

Snow Showers in Yosemite Valley

Snow Showers in Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California

Virgin River Narrows Downstream

Virgin River Narrows Downstream, Zion National Park, Utah

Bodie State Historic Park: Colors of Decay, Arrested

Bodie State Historic Park: Colors of Decay, Arrested

I have many more images that I considered for my favorite photos and moments of 2017, and I’ve collected over 100 of them in 2017 Favorites album on Flickr.

My Favorite Landscape / Travel Photos from Each Year, 2005 – 2016

Here are some of my collections from prior years.  It has been a great dozen years of adventure, I can’t wait to see what I can find to show you in the next 12!

2016 Favorites photo album on Flickr
2016 Top 10 Landscape/Travel Blog Post

2015 Favorites photo album on Flickr
2015 Top 10 Landscape / Travel Photos Blog Post

2014 Favorites photo album on Flickr
2014 Top 10 Landscape / Travel Photos blog post

2013 Favorites photo album on Flickr
2013 Top 10 Landscape / Travel Photos blog post

2012 Favorites photo album on Flickr
2012 Top 10 Landscape / Travel Photos blog post

2011 Favorites album on Flickr
2011 Top 10 Landscape / Travel Photos blog post

2010 Favorites album on Flickr
2010 Top 10 Landscape / Travel Photos blog post

2009 Favorites photo album on Flickr
2009 Top 10 Landscape / Travel Photos blog post

2008 Favorites photo album on Flickr
2008 Top 10 Landscape / Travel Photos blog post

2007 Favorites photo album on Flickr 
2007 Top 10 Landscape / Travel Photos blog post

2006 Favorites photo album on Flickr
2006 Top 10 Landscape / Travel Photos blog post

Share This:

Top 10 Travel Photos: 2016

Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve: Super Moon Rise

Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve: Super Moon Rise

Virgin River Narrows

Virgin River Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah

From Here to Infinity

From Here to Infinity – Mono Lake, California

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, California

Ancient

High Sierra , Sierra Nevada, California

High Sierra Sunset Reflection

Sunset Moon Rise, Topaz lake, California and Nevada

Sunset Moon Rise and Rainbow, Topaz Lake

Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve, California

Jellyfish Cloud Over Mono Lake

Moon and Belt of Venus over The Minarets, High Sierra, California

Sunrise Full Moon Set on Summer Solstice

Merced River Fall Swirls

Leaves and Foam in Eddies of the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California

Kanarra Creek Hike

Kanarra Creek Hike, Southern Utah

New 2016 Results from Past Years

Dry Lake Bed Sunrise

Dry Lake Bed Sunrise, Death Valley National Park, California

I have many more images that I considered for my favorite photos and moments of 2016, and I’ve collected over 50 of them in 2016 Favorites album on Flickr.

My Favorite Landscape / Travel Photos from Each Year, 2006 – 2016

Here are some of my collections from prior years.  It has been a great dozen years of adventure, I can’t wait to see what I can find to show you in the next 12!

New: 2017 Top 10 Landscape / Travel Photos blog post

2016 Favorites photo album on Flickr
2016 Top 10 Landscape/Travel Blog Post

2015 Favorites photo album on Flickr
2015 Top 10 Landscape / Travel Photos blog post

2014 Favorites photo album on Flickr
2014 Top 10 Landscape / Travel Photos blog post

2013 Favorites photo album on Flickr
2013 Top 10 Landscape / Travel Photos blog post

2012 Favorites photo album on Flickr
2012 Top 10 Landscape / Travel Photos blog post

2011 Favorites album on Flickr
2011 Top 10 Landscape / Travel Photos blog post

2010 Favorites album on Flickr
2010 Top 10 Landscape / Travel Photos blog post

2009 Favorites photo album on Flickr
2009 Top 10 Landscape / Travel Photos blog post

2008 Favorites photo album on Flickr
2008 Top 10 Landscape / Travel Photos blog post

2007 Favorites photo album on Flickr 
2007 Top 10 Landscape / Travel Photos blog post

2006 Favorites photo album on Flickr
2006 Top 10 Landscape / Travel Photos blog post

Share This:

Why Do Your Fall Images Look Better This Year?

Yellow aspen in the Eastern Sierra

Eastern Sierra Fall Colors

I often receive supportive feedback on my photography, as well as questions on how I get my results.  Since I’m “in this for the photography” I tend to prioritize photography over writing.  So my answers to questions provide a great opportunity to address common questions in a blog post.  This time, I’ll just have it all be the blog post, illustrated with photos that I’ve post-processed in the past month, fall 2017…

Yosemite Daylight Long Exposure Composite

On 9 Nov 17, 5.52PM PST ———- said:
Jeff:
I see a dramatic change in your fall images….much improved, even though the old ones were great to start with. What software are you using to develop your images? It looks like you are using focus stacking for the landscapes as well. Is this so?
Nice job, ————

Hi ———-,

I’ll answer in two parts, first regarding post-processing.

I honestly don’t know if I can narrow it down to one or two factors and answer the question completely, but here goes…Everyone’s looking for ways to improve their photography, and the questions often assume that a new camera or post-processing software must be the key.  To be sure, cameras and applications do evolve, so there are benefits to new versions, but there’s a lot to be said for the influence of experience and personal stylistic choices.

Spring in the FallIt would be really easy to simply provide “the answer” and point to one new product that will provide the magic bullet.  You find that all over the Internet with people paid to promote products, and they often do not follow FTC guidelines to properly identify their social media and blog “reviews” of their sponsors’ products as paid ads.  I’m unencumbered by product/manufacturer relationships, so I can take a more comprehensive and less biased approach.

I do find Adobe Lightroom 5 and lately 6 to be meter than older versions of the software, and I do often re-process results as recent as two years ago and get better results.  But here’s the catch: I also notice that I’m using a different approach and settings than I did even as recently as two years ago.  So I can’t really attribute the improvements to solely or even mainly to newer Lightroom software.

Fall Colors in the Virgin River NarrowsI’ve been using Photomatix from HDRsoft for many years, and I remember as early as 2009 I was occasionally layering my best edit of the original photo on top of the HDR result to make the result more realistic.  Unfortunately that required exporting the files to Photoshop for the layering.  I prefer the photography side of the process over the computer/graphics arts options, so I often just settled for an average of the three exposures in Photomatix, and touched that up on Lightroom instead.  The new version Photomatix 6 that I started using in beta last spring includes the layering of any of the original files on the HDR output, and enables blending using a slider from 0 to 100%.  So in addition to being to select from more preset HDR results, it’s little extra effort to blend in the best straight photographic result that you were able to produce in Lightroom.

That would certainly account for many of the files that I post-processed in Photomatix, but I try to tag all of them with HDR and Photomatix, so you can see for yourself that it’s not a huge percentage of my overall fall results.

Yosemite Fall DogwoodsSo what’s left is some combination of experience and what I choose to do with it.  I think that I’ve become more demanding with my results, which forces me to take a more critical look at them.  I often say that I prefer to spend five minutes or less post-processing a photo on my computer, but to get better results, at a minimum it is necessary to take the lead of Ansel Adams and at least invest some time in dodging and burning.

Stylistically, while I always preferred to produce more or less realistic images, sometimes digital cameras simply didn’t have the dynamic range to capture an entire natural scene well, so I’ve decided to accept the compromise of visibly manipulated results.  As cameras get better in subtle ways and I continue to master my skill with the various techniques and tools available, including the software tools, I can shift my focus to stylistic choices instead of fighting the tools to get an acceptable result.

Fall CalmI recall that I decided to get a little more assertive with contrast and blacks about a year ago.  At some point earlier this year I decided to produce some more colorful results, although I still don’t want the first impression people get to be “manipulated”.  I may not always succeed, but I’m exploring a wider range of results, and reining myself in when I can detect that the photo is crossing some invisible line.  I guess that you could boil it down to developing my own effects, range and style, mainly within the bounds of what Lightroom can do, but occasionally using Photomatix if/when the dynamic range of the scene warrants it.

The next logical question is what am I doing in Lightroom.  The short answer is that what I like about landscapes is the photography “pursuit of light” side in the field, experiencing the moment itself, so as mentioned, I tend to keep my adjustments under five minutes or so per photo on the computer, whenever possible.  I push as much quality as I can back to the capture side of the process, and automate some of the post-processing, so I can get back outside.  The fine details of how I achieve that, from image capture through post-processing, are probably best left for interactive post-processing demos during my workshops, since sharing my process and some of my favorite locations is exactly how I continue to pursue photography.

Yosemite's El Capitan in the Fall by Jeff Sullivan on 500px.com

 

Share This:

Eastern Sierra Fall Colors Peaking Now in Mono County

Eastern Sierra landscape photography

Mono County fall colors are peaking now!

If you’ve been waiting to head to the Eastern Sierra for fall colors, wait no longer!  These photos were all taken yesterday afternoon.  The spectacular color could last through the weekend, but maybe not: the forecast warns that Thursday could bring stormy weather that might knock a few leaves down before the weekend.

West Walker River in October

West Walker River October 15

Topaz Lake Cottonwood Trees

Topaz Lake October 15

Share This:

Photograph the Moon Rise at Sunset Tonight, October 4, 2017

Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve: Super Moon Rise

The moon will rise shortly before sunset tonight, providing a perfect opportunity to photograph the moon near the horizon at sunset.  Here are 38 degrees north it’ll rise about 15 minutes before sunset, and be about 1.6 degrees high, or three moon widths, above a zero-degree horizon at sunset.

Mono Lake Moonrise (Re-edit)

About ten minutes later as you may start to see the earth’s shadow rise above the horizon, its blue color contrasting against the adjacent pink-orange last light of the sun in the “belt of Venus” effect, the moon will be about 3.5 degrees high, seven moon widths.

Super Moon Reflection

In apps such as The Photographer’s Ephemeris and PhotoPills you can fine tune the times and moon direction and elevation for any shooting spot you might want to plan for.  Plan well enough, and you can anticipate compositions that place the moon reflecting in lakes, or beside or just over natural or man-made landmarks.

Moon Rise Behind Half Dome

Similar opportunities present themselves on the opposite horizon with the moon set at sunrise, so look at your favorite astrophotography app and start planning! You can combine opportunities, such as catching a moon coming out of eclipse, as it sets behind a nearby ridge.

Partially Eclipsed Moon Setting, October 8, 2014

Or place the moon on a man-made structure like the tip of the Transamerica building in San Francisco.  I started shooting this sequence of images about 15 minutes ahead of time to show how the placement of the moon can be accurately planned in advance, and rendering the images as a time-lapse video lets you see the entire sequence:

Plan to Shoot the April 14/15 2014 Lunar Eclipse: Example Landing on the Transamerica Pyramid
As calculated, the moon ends up centered on the tip of the pyramid!

For a discussion of advanced considerations, read the article, “I’ve planned my supermoon eclipse shot: what could possibly go wrong?

For a bonus on the tomorrow morning, I see in my SkyWeek+ app that the planets moonVenus and Mars will be within 1/4 degree of each other before dawn on October 5.  The StarWalk+ app shows me that they will be rising by about 5:10 am roughly due east.  Photograph them on and close to the horizon, then conditions should continue to improve improve by around 6 am as they’re rising out of the thicker air and haze close to the horizon.  At that point they are still low enough to be captured in landscape shots as the oncoming twilight increasingly illuminates the landscape.  The sun rises close to 7 am, so they may fade as the sky brightens, and Mars in particular may be long gone by 6:30 am.

Venus Jupiter Moon Conjunction

You never know what you might come up with.  A while back I shot the moon with Jupiter and Venus rising nearby, and my photo was used in an article by astronomer Don Olson of the University of Texas, in an article in the August issue of Sky & Telescope Magazine!

I haven’t looked up the phase that Venus is in, but if you have a strong enough lens, youc an see that it’s illuminated in a crescent phase.

Multi-Colored UFO?

The first step is to anticipate and plan for some great opportunities with the moon and/or planets. Then get out there and shoot! Tonight at sunset and tomorrow before dawn offer you a couple of good ones to start with. You never know what you might discover!

Share This: