Bloody Moon Over the Mountain

Lunar eclipse rising over Mt. Shuksan

Sunday, September 27 was the evening for both a “super moon” and a total lunar eclipse. Super moon simply means the moon appears larger in the sky because it is closer to the earth. I headed up to Artist Point and out the ridge to Huntoon Point to photograph the eclipsed moon rising over Mt. Shuksan. I knew where the moon would be from advance planning using the web app, Photographer’s Ephemeris.

My favorite image is the one at the top of the post with the mountain low in the frame and a sky full of stars above. I made a similar image in September 1996, another year we experienced a total eclipse of the moon. That time I was shooting ISO 200 film and my exposure was over 30-seconds so the moon became a reddish blur. This year, with a digital camera, I shot at ISO 3200 at f/4 with a shutter speed of 6 seconds. There’s a little movement in the moon but at normal viewing distances it looks great.

Here are a few of the other photos I made during the evening.

Mt. Shuksan reflected in small tarn at sunset

As you head out the Huntoon Point trail there are a couple of small ponds. I stopped at the first one to catch the reflection of Mt. Shuksan just before sunset.

Mt. Shuksan reflected in small tarn at dusk

By the time I got to the next tarn (another name for the little ponds) the sun had dipped below the horizon. The wind was blowing a bit so neither I nor any other other photographers camped out along the shore got a perfect reflection.

Mt. Shuksan at dusk.

I climbed up to the top of Huntoon Point and prepared to wait for the moon to rise. Although official moonrise that evening was at 6:53 pm it took a while for the moon to rise above the surrounding peaks. This image was made at 7:15.

Lunar eclipse rising over Mt. Shuksan

At 7:41 pm the moon cleared the horizon, appearing in the notch at the base of Shuksan’s summit pyramid.

Lunar eclipse rising over Mt. Shuksan

One of the last frames I exposed was this one with the moon at the top of the mountain. I was riding on the best mountain bike when I captured this picture. By this time there was very little alpenglow remaining on the mountain. It was 7:54 pm and my exposure was ISO 3200, 5 seconds at f/4. The critical element for setting exposure was the brightness of the moon, which didn’t change during the eclipse.

If you’d like a print of one of these special images, let me know. Limited time special prices:

10″ x 15″ matted to 16″ x 20″ $225 framed (regularly $275 unframed)
16″ x 24″ matted to 24″ x 28″ $375 framed (regularly $425 unframed)

You’ll find my regular prices for prints on my fine art prices page.

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