Super Blue Blood Moon, January 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale
So I set the alarm for this morning to see the lunar eclipse of the Blue moon that would create the Blood Moon this morning, then set up the tripod as I expected a longer exposure. A bit too long of an exposure as probably the professional night photographers could have warned me. Even in the relatively short exposure, probably 30 to 45 seconds, with the aperture wide open (f/4.0 for my 24-105mm lens), the moon is still moving too much. I suspect it is moving a bit faster as it nears the horizon that in the mid-sky, nevertheless I do not have a gyro for panning during my exposure, so I have to take my chances.
So what the heck, I was up, so some time for experimental/play with this unique natural occurrence. I did know from past experience that the auto exposure mode of my Canon 5DMk3 would not compensate for the very small moon even in spot meter mode. So my practice is to start the extended auto-exposure, then about 10 seconds in, use my hand to cover the front of the lens to block the available light for about 12 – 15 seconds of what amounts to a 30+ second duration. Alternatively, as in the photo above, I alternate the exposure and lens block in 5 second intervals which creates a series of multiple moons that appear as ghosts versus a weird stretched out of shape moon such as the photo below.
During one of these alternating exposure series I had not anticipated a small plane flying into the frame, which was slightly concealed behind a palm leaf just prior to me making this exposure. So the serendipity of the light tracks toward the blood moon in conjunction with the multiple moon ghosts that are framed by the Southern California palms make a very delightful composition and worth the early morning rise.