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Shooting the moon


Canon MKIII, 300 mm 2.8 lens with 1.4 teleconverter (420mm equivalent). ISO 400, 3 second exposure f/6.3.

I new the lunar eclipse was happening Wednesday night, but really hadn’t given it much thought since weather reports were calling for clouds. Plus, I had a game to shoot in Richmond which would take most of my evening.

On the way to the EKU/Morehead game, though, I watched one of the more beautiful full moon rises I’ve seen recently. The skies were mostly clear as I drove down I-75 to Richmond. But the eclipse wasn’t due to start until I would be in the middle of the game. Since these things last a while, I figured I’d have a shot at it after the game.

Apparently the editors at the Herald-Leader figured I’d have a shot at it too. They called me during the game and told me to try to get something of the moon after the game. As I left the game, the moon was just about to enter into total eclipse – when the full moon passes into Earth’s shadow and is blocked form the sun’s rays that normally illuminate it.

A picture of the moon on it’s own can be quite nice, but generally we look for something else to give the photo another element. A good example of this is a nice moon-setting photo by Charles Bertram in Bourbon County in 2005.

Driving back from Richmond I saw the steeple from the White Hall Holiness Church from the interstate and was able to get to the church parking lot and check it out. Just at the time I was set up to shoot, and just as the moon had become enshrouded in Earth’s shadow, some cloud cover moved in. I had to wait about 45 minutes for the clouds to part again, and by this time it was getting past 10 p.m. and I was really pushing the limits of my deadline.

But it worked out, as you can see above, and by the time I got home, it was cloudy enough that I couldn’t see the moon anymore. And it’s too bad we won’t get another shot at seeing a total lunar eclipse until 2010.