The night of the Blood Moon


Sounds like the title of a 70's horror movie doesn't it? (Queue dramatic music!!)

Facebook has been alive with posting about the coming Blood Moon for about two weeks now, and it was something I was looking forward to seeing and perhaps capturing on camera. So when, Chris Hines, a friend of my wife posted asking if anyone fancied trying to photograph it, that was all the push I needed. 

The day dawned cloudy and yet I remained hopefully optimistic, especially as by the mid afternoon the cloud was breaking up nicely. I tootled along with my daily routine till my wife arriving home from her annual conference in Texas, exhausted, and looking forward to an evening curled up on the sofa watching Dexter. I'm glad I made dinner so I could cushion the blow that I would be leaving her alone for the evening! We squeeze in a quick episode on Netflix before I bolted though. 

Our location was an 120 year old barn located on my father-in-laws property. Its one of my favorite places to hang around and full of character. We set up  and waited for the clouds to break which proved frustrating, but it did proved this rather dramatic shot however. The barn was lit by a single outside light which provided stark light and shadows on the building and also bounced light off the grass to provide an eerie green glow to the structure.

While we waited for the coming apocalypse/eclipse (depending on your point of view), we chewed the fat. I kinda wish we'd brought a six pack. Not having met face to face with Chris before, we saw we had a lot of the same interests via social media, so we had lots of things to chat about while the weather made up its mind what it was doing. Next time we will definitely bring beer!! 

Finally as the earth passed in front of the moon and sun the sky darkened till the glow of the moon behind the clouds vanished. Because of the cloud cover the sky was black to the naked eye, but the cameras were picking up lots more. Long exposures collect a lot more ambient light than the human eye can see, so the clouds were absorbing the red glow from the darkening moon producing this dramatic look.

As the evening went on we caught a few breaks in the clouds where the moon was on show. Chris opted for some closeup shots using a 300mm lens, and I was tempted to do the same, but given that the internet would be soaked with closeups of the moon I instead used it as a backdrop rather than the main feature. This was shot using a 16mm f1.4 lens on a Fujifilm X T1.

It was a great way to spend an evening with good company and maybe I'll go for the closeup shot next time. In 13 years!