Capturing the Blood Moon (Detailed Post)

Blood Moon Eclipse South Africa - photo by Ken Treloar Photography 2018-3.jpg

I'm no Astro Photographer (yet) but thought I would try my luck anyway and capture the Blood Moon lunar eclipse this past Friday night (Lunar Eclipse - 27 July 2018).  Armed with my new tripod and my long[ish] lens, I set about positioning myself in a way where I could get a good view of the eclipse from start to finish. 

I had the ladder outside my apartment, and a planned out mission as to where I was going to stand and set up my kit. However, turns out the moon was going to be positioned right behind a huge tree for most of the show, so I decided to set up in the garden, and with all the exterior lights switched off, this is where I made my stand. 

With no intention to get fancy with the photography that night, I wasn't going to be capturing the full cycle of the eclipse - I was pretty sure there would be plenty of other photographers around the world who would do it a lot more justice than I.

So, here are the few images I managed to capture. Two of which are available on Unsplash for you to freely download and use however you wish. Here's the link:  A little further down I have listed a few images from other photographers I think are worth checking out - Enjoy!



More orange than blood red, this shot was taken a few moments before totality. 

Camera: Canon EOS 200D (AKA Rebel SL2)
Lens: Canon EF 70-300mm 4-5.6 IS USM II
Focal length: 300mm (±480mm equiv.)
Shutter: 0.5 sec
Aperture: f5,6
ISO: 800
Dimensions: Shot 6000 x 4000
Cropped: 3200 x 4000 - specifically for Instagram)

Blood Moon Eclipse South Africa - photo by Ken Treloar Photography 2018-4.jpg

Here, zoomed out compared to the image above, you can see just how red-orange the moon looked in the night sky.

Camera: Canon EOS 200D (AKA Rebel SL2)
Lens: Canon EF 70-300mm 4-5.6 IS USM II
Focal Length: 108mm±170mm equiv.)
Shutter: 3,2 sec
Aperture: f5,6
ISO: 200
Dimensions: Shot 6000 x 4000
Cropped: 5587 x 3725 - to get the composition I best preferred.


I personally think it was a little warmer in tone than it should be because of the city air. However, it was also a pretty clear day in Cape Town after the wind and rain a few days before, so couldn't have been too much pollution in the air.

Light pollution, however, was not my friend and at slower shutter speeds it became seriously apparent. So, with a relatively wide aperture, I managed to keep my shutter speeds somewhere in between getting in enough light (more stars) and keeping it all un-blurred (no unplanned star trails and a sharp-ish moon). 

The 1st prize would have been to have had a wider aperture available to me on a long lens, as well as a tracker, which would allow my camera and lens to move with the rotation of the earth - effectively 'tracking' the stars/the moon as the photo's being taken. All things that are on the wishlist for "one day, someday" soon.

Mars came out to play too.

With all the focus on the Moon (excuse the pun) a lot of folks failed to realise Mars was around for the show as well. Loo to the top right of the image above. That bright and shiny star? That's actually the red planet. Pretty cool stuff. 
To the slight left of the Moon and heading downwards, also the constellation of Capricorn. If you're wondering why you didn't see it, don't feel bad, I couldn't really make it out either.  In reality it looks more like a bandana than a mythical sea-goat anyway, so nothing missed there ;P

Thanks for being here, 
Ken Treloar


Other Cool Blood Moon Eclipse Captures...