Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse over Grand Marais – April 15, 2014


The totality of the April 15, 2014 blood red lunar eclipse of April’s Pink Moon. Or as I like to call it: the Bloody Pink Full Moon. Taken over 5+ hours in downtown Grand Marais. Read about the process of making this image below.

Note: this isn’t the final final version. I need to clean up a few issues with the composite.

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Today, I spent a bunch of hours today working on my second lunar eclipse image from the other night. This image combines about 50 images from the night. The images were all shot from the same tripod placement at about 5 minute intervals. This is also a panoramic shot, which means that I had to rotate the tripod head three times during the night to get pictures of different parts of the sky. Then as dawn was breaking, I took three images of the background properly exposed for dawn.

This is the first time that I tried something like this and it was a tough one to align properly in Photoshop. I knew that I was going to have to deal with parallax, which is like what happens when you look at an object then close one eye and then switch eyes — the object jumps around. In panoramic photography, you create a composite image by rotating your camera to capture a larger scene than one shot can take. After each rotation, you shoot a new image that overlaps slightly with the last. Each time you rotate, you take a new shot, and then later combine them in the computer. When you rotate your camera, around the tripod mount, you get parallax. For panoramic photography, you ideally want to have specialized equipment that eliminates parallax. I sold mine recently to fund a new lens, so I just went with it and figured that I’d deal with it later. It was harder to deal with than I expected. In the end, I had to nudge each individual moon shot around a little to get the nice curve shown here. It wasn’t what I wanted, but I had to do it.

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