Night Photography

Outdoor photographs

Last month (January) we had the full blood moon lunar eclipse. Like millions of other people I went out to see what I could capture in photography. About 8:30 on a 20-degree night I drove out to the western part of Cache Valley, away from the city lights, where the mountains and trees were far away. The moon came up, but it was cloudy. I watched from the bed of my pickup as the clouds flitted back and forth in front of the moon as the shadow of the sun crossed the moon’s face. I had my camera set up on my tripod. I don’t have a long telephoto lens so I was using the 50-200 mm lens that came with the camera. Because of the low light I used manual settings, with the aperture at f/8 for good depth of field and toying with the exposure, anywhere from 6-20 seconds. It was difficult to center the moon in the focus ring of the lens, so auto-focus wasn’t working. I was in full manual mode. Most of the shots weren’t worth keeping but one, after some elementary enhancement and cropping, turned out not so bad for kit equipment.

After the clouds fully obscured the moon, I wasn’t ready to quit just yet. I still had a little feeling in my fingers so I decided to try some time lapse photography of the road and passing cars. Focusing on the road was a lot easier than focusing on the moon. I got the picture framed and waited for a car to come along. Then I hit the shutter button and waited for a 7-second exposure.

Finally, I took one of the road I was on. The long exposure gave a ghostly quality to the scene.