15 April 2014

Blood moon, Pohangina valley

About an hour and a half ago I tried photographing the so-called 'blood moon' — the moon just before tonight's lunar eclipse. Apparently much of New Zealand won't get to see it because of extensive cloud, but here in the valley we've been lucky: the sky's almost cloudless, alive with stars. I tried photographing the moon and quickly realised the difficulty — the exposure had to be short to prevent the motion of the moon and stars from blurring them, but of course there's little light (it is night, after all!).

This was the best I could do.

[15 April 2014, Olympus OM-D EM-1, Panasonic Lumix 100–300mm at 300mm, ISO 1600, 1/2s at f5.6]

All content © 2014 Pete McGregor


Elephant's Child said...

Jealous thoughts. There is no moon to be seen over here. Some cloudless sky - but not in the right place. Mind you, I have yet to get a shot of the moon I am happy with - and would have been thrilled with yours.

Lisa Emerson said...

Wonderful! I think we were very lucky that the cloud cleared that day. We sat down by the Manawatu River and watched the eclipse and the red moon - and I could see entirely why, in the past, such things were seen as portents and omens.

Zhoen said...


I just couldn't make myself get up at 2am to see it. Not and work the next day.

Thank you for this.

pohanginapete said...

EC, I've been in your situation plenty of times and in fact was surprised when I stepped outside and saw the moon and stars.

Lisa, I can imagine it could have been terrifying before we understood what was happening. This, I think, is a wonderful answer to those who claim that science destroys the wonder of mystery — it might eliminate the mystery butadds to the awe.

Zhoen, you're welcome. Pleased I could show it to you.

Ruahine said...

Kia ora Pete,
“Do not swear by the moon, for she changes constantly. then your love would also change.”
― William Shakespeare

pohanginapete said...

Kia ora Robb — If the Bard was right, after a moon like that I'd expect more than a few relationship changes ;^)

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Pete,
That me chuckle e hoa. That line reminds me of Tara. I'm always trying to be on my toes!

John and I heading in next week. Not sure of wx at this stage but the plan now is as written via email earlier. Hope we can bump into each other.

pohanginapete said...

Take care in there, Robb. The wx's looking pretty wet until close to the time you go in, so the river'll be well up. I'm on schedule to be able to get in for a night or two, but that'll depend on the wx too. Fingers crossed.

Lesley said...

You lucky thing! Drizzle here - and it was at such a convenient time, too, starting not long after sunset. Maybe I'll see the next one in October, although that will mean getting up in the middle of the night, I think.

Thanks for sharing this. It's the only photo I've seen of it so far. I think Tekapo must have been cloudy, too. Disappointing for the astronomers who went there hoping to see it.

pohanginapete said...

Sorry you missed it, Lesley. I feel sorry for the Tekapo people, too. The sky there must be out of this world (haha!) on a clear night, although it's hard to imagine it could be substantially better than here on a moonless, cloudless night.