Last night I spent several hours photographing the 2019 super blood wolf moon. I was lucky to have perfectly clear skies and a warm evening to shoot this amazing phenomenon.
Your camera needs to be locked down on a very sturdy tripod and head as the slightest shake will result in a blurred image due to the huge distance you are shooting over – Some 238,900 miles! Either lock up the mirror on your camera and use the self timer, or use an electronic cable release, or even both.
I started with the full moon around 9.30 pm. Focus on the moon, take a couple of shots to check your focus is spot on and then turn autofocus off , you don’t want the camera to be trying to re-focus for each shot.
Shooting a full moon in a black sky can often completely fool your cameras meter into overexposing the image rendering the moon as a bright white blob in the sky. You can get away with surprisingly high shutter speeds. I start with a test exposure of 1/100th @ f8, ISO 400 – and after a couple of tests just upped the ISO to 500 and felt I was spot on. I set this manually on the camera.
I continued to shoot an image every 10 minutes each time checking my exposure. As the moon moved into the earth’s shadow it darkened, meaning I had to continually adjust the manual exposure set on the camera. First I lengthened the shutter speed, then opened the aperture, and finally as the moon moved into the red phase I also upped the ISO.
I didn’t worry too much about exactly where the moon was in my frame as my intention was to crop each image to make the sequence shot found at the end of this post.
The image below was shot at 1/320 sec. @ f8 at ISO 800
As the eclipse begins to turn into the blood moon I need to continue to increase my exposure. For the next image I am at 0.2 sec, f8 ISO 1600
Finally for the full blood moon my exposure has become 1/4 sec, f 4.5 ISO 2500
All images were shot with a Nikon 500mm f4 lens on a Gitzo tripod and Arca Swiss ball head.
Finally, for a bit of fun, here is a full sequence of 20 images stitched together in Photoshop representing a time frame of three hours