Yesterday's Light

Images in Space and Time

Lunar Eclipse in Capitol Reef

Moonrise and Partial Eclipse, Capitol Reef NP

Moonrise and Partial Eclipse, Capitol Reef NP

Every time we head out the door on one of our journeys I promise myself that I’ll post something at least every other day.  Try to keep up with the “daily adventures”.  And then I don’t.  Heck, I can barely keep awake when I’m looking at images at night.  Posting seems impossible.  So the days (and places) pass by.  I just tell myself that I’ll do it tomorrow.  But don’t.

But this image of moonrise on the night of the lunar eclipse really got to me.  The moon had just risen and was roughly 50% eclipsed by the earth’s shadow.  I saw totality as well, but I like this photograph because the horizon is still visible and the moon was behind some high, wispy clouds.  No “blood-red” coloration occurring yet, but by the time that that happened there was nothing to see but moon.  Well, you could have used a wide lens, but then the moon gets a bit small.  The focal length here is about 300 mm.

Anyway, I like this one even if it is a bit noisy (ISO was 6400, I think).

One other small point: if you want to see an eclipse the way it was meant to be seen there’s no better place than the desert southwest.  It actually gets dark at night here!  In fact, it’s the one place where there are “official” world dark area designations.  If you even just want to see stars at night, this is the place.


6 Responses to “Lunar Eclipse in Capitol Reef”

  1. E. Brooks

    Wonderful photo, Paul! I don’t believe there’s enough noise to degrade it much and the wispy clouds certainly added to the impact of the image. It was cloudy here so no visibility of the moon or eclipse. I like you captured a good bit of detail in the dark areas. Not too shabby for a small sensor 4/3’s camera. 🙂

    Posting every day is not a reasonable goal in my mind. The highest priority is to enjoy and experience your trip…posting can come later.

    • Paul Maxim

      Thanks Brooks. You’re right – not too shabby for a 4/3 camera. Of course, a tripod was an absolute necessity. But it was a lot of fun. And this is a “dark sky” area so there was no light pollution whatsoever.

      You’re also right about the posting. I honestly don’t know how some people do it nearly every day. And when you’re on the road it’s sort of like having nightly homework! I’m way too old for that…..

  2. themiddlegeneration

    Gorgeous shot! I’m jealous you got to see it in the dark. I watched it from my front yard in the suburbs. And being on the east coast, I had to turn in by 11pm and not watch the unshadowing of the moon. I decided not to bother trying to take any photos since my night time images always have issues. So I’m glad I can enjoy yours. Enjoy the southwest journey!

    • Paul Maxim

      Thanks a lot. And hey, night photography is difficult for everybody (all us normal folks anyway). I think I got excited about this moon image because I’ve taken so many truly bad ones over the years. So a little bit of success went a long way!

  3. TomDills

    Paul, I like this characterization of the eclipse, as it is a departure from the usual “bright moon on a dark background” shots. The foreground and especially the clouds give this a magical feel.

    We haven’t seen the sun here in over a week. Sounds like I may need to head to the desert to see an eclipse.

    • Paul Maxim

      Thanks Tom. Yes, I’ve been following the weather reports for the eastern seaboard. A possible hurricane? And heavy rains and flooding regardless? I’d hate to be vacationing in Charleston right now.

      By all means head for the desert for the next eclipse! Your camera (and your psyche) will thank you……


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