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News & Insight

‘Blood Moon’ – Photographer Spends 7 Hours to Capture the Perfect Eclipse Shot

By Hanssie on April 17th 2014

Early Tuesday morning, the world looked up and watched the fascinating display put on by Mother Nature as the moon eclipsed and turned blood red. This phenomenon known as the ‘Blood Moon’ will occur again in the next few months, but if you witnessed it the other night, chances are you tried to take a photo of it.

For me, by 11:30pm, I was too tired to stay up, saw the first 2 phases of the eclipse and called it a night, knowing I’d see some impressive photographs from my friends, who had better equipment capture the phenomenon…and are the types that enjoy being up at weird hours to witness nature’s spectacles in all their glory. I’m too much of a wimp.

And yes, the dedicated ones came through (check out SLR Lounge Writer Matt Saville’s Lunar Eclipse Star Trail image and how he shot it), as I woke to some amazing images in my social media feeds from the previous night. Then this image caught my eye:

The lunar eclipse over a bluebonnet field in Ennis, Texas on April 15, 2014.

Self-taught Texas based photographer, Mike Mezeul II who specializes in severe weather, commercial, landscape, and sports photography created the above image. He also teaches photography and post-processing workshops around the nation and spends his free time traveling to national parks documenting landscapes and the night sky. (i.e. one of the dedicated ones).

He planned for over two weeks to get the April 15th shot as seen above. Seeing that a majority of eclipse shots were usually extremely close up, he always felt that the shots lacked life, and so he set about to create the perfect blood moon shot.

With that said, I knew that I wanted to create a composition that not only showed the amazing eclipse, but tied in an incredible foreground as well. I mean, why not include the Earth? We are kind of the reason for the lunar eclipse, right?

With fellow photographer friend James Langford in tow, the two spent the next 7 hours shooting the transitions of the moon in the bitter cold. Mike tells us,

 

“The first shot was the field of bluebonnets, shot at a 30 second exposure using the light from the full moon to illuminate the field. I shot this with my Nikon D800 at 24mm. Then, I shot the moon approximately every 10 minutes with a 200mm lens from the beginning to the end of its transition.

To finish the image, Mike started editing initial the foreground image. Then sorting through his stack of moon phase shots, he pulled a few, created the transition and masked  each phase into the sky to create the final perfect composition. The image you see is a close representation of the moon’s path across the sky, pulled a little closer to the horizon to balance the composition.

The lunar eclipse over a bluebonnet field in Ennis, Texas on April 15, 2014.

I think it was well worth the hours, the cold, and the work in post…I’m just glad I was warm in my bed when it happened and I can enjoy the fruits of Mike’s labor.

You can see more of Mike Mezeul’s work on his website and Facebook.

CREDITS: All photographs by Mike Mezeul are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

[via @Elite Daily]

About

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at www.hanssie.com. Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Michelle Ford

    that’s awesome!

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  2. Peter

    Much nicer than my view which snowing all night.

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  3. AJ

    I really like the concept and agree that photos of the moon often lack the context and interest provided by a landscape shot. That said, I feel this composite is unbalanced a bit. All of the moons of very close to each other, which seems to go against the wide open feeling from the rest of the shot.

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  4. Sean

    The top left moon image is all wrong. It belongs at the bottom right…

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