The making of my blood moon lunar eclipse photo Part 1 of 2

In part 2 you can read how I enhanced and built the composite photo using Capture One Pro and Perfect Photo Suite 8. Read it here.

Overnight on April 14 through early morning April 15th we were treated to a wonderful total eclipse of the moon that at it’s peak turned the moon a blood red color. The eclipse was visible to most of North and South America – at least visible to those of us who had clear skies that night.

Suess Lunar Eclipse over Phoenix web

“Lunar Eclipse Blood Moon over Phoenix”
North Phoenix, Arizona
Purchase prints of this photo right now during a special limited time promotion.

The event is rare, with the most recent total lunar eclipse happening on December 21, 2010. However we are in for a treat as we will have 3 more total eclipses in North America within the next 1.5 years: October 8 of 2014, April 5 of 2015, and September 28 of 2015. After that we will have to wait another 3 years before another one happens.

Some pre-planning first

I knew of the April 15th eclipse a few weeks prior to it happening, which gave me plenty of time to prepare. I was still going to be in Phoenix which was great as the weather is usually perfect and rarely cloudy & rainy. So I started planning my final image and what I needed to do to create it.

Right off the bat I knew I was going to somehow incorporate saguaro cacti in my photograph, as they are a unique feature here in the Sonoran Desert. I have been spending numerous evenings photographing sunsets this winter out in the desert where my RV is parked here in North Scottsdale and knew the location would be perfect for the eclipse.

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Zion National Park 2013 Fall Photo Workshop Wrap-up

I am now back in Scottsdale, AZ following the 5-Day photography workshop Christine Hauber and I taught in Zion National Park, Utah. Registration will open later this week for our 2014 Zion Fall Workshop but in the meantime enjoy this wrap-up from the 2013 workshop.

Getting up early to catch the first rays of sunlight is what is needed for great photos and our students were up for the challenge.

Getting up early to catch the first rays of sunlight is what is needed for great photos and our students were up for the challenge.

We were treated to some unseasonably warm temperatures this year with daytime temps reaching the upper 60’s to low 70’s and nighttime temps falling to just above freezing to the low 40’s. While the fall foliage this year wasn’t as good as in the past – see my fall foliage 2013 report here – we still were not at a loss for beautiful and dramatic things to photograph.

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Fall foliage report in Zion National Park 2013

I arrived in Zion National Park, Utah Monday night after sunset, 4 days in advance of my 2013 Zion Fall Foliage Photo Workshop. I had already been hearing the reports that the fall foliage this year was not as great as it normally is. In addition whatever peak colors they did have happened much earlier this year than normal.

Christine Hauber and I arrived early so we could scout this years colors and find the best spots for our students. Sad to say, the red maple leaves are gone – if they ever existed to begin with this year. Finding clear bright yellow cottonwood leaves is difficult, with the majority of leaves being of a green and yellow mix.

Some may think that with such a poor fall foliage season that there isn’t much to photograph this year. But far from it.

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Back in Phoenix Arizona for the winter, with a new puppy

This past weekend I packed up my RV and trailer and left my summer Santa Fe, New Mexico location for my annual winter retreat in Phoenix, Arizona. It was starting to get a bit chilly in Santa Fe and the art festivals in the Phoenix area are just starting to get underway.

By late July, Scrappy already had his own chair outside my RV.

By late July, Scrappy already had his own chair outside my RV.

I didn’t leave Santa Fe alone this year and had the pleasure of sharing my ride with my new copilot Scrappy. A blue heeler Australian cattle dog, this little fellow started hanging around my RV in July looking for scraps of food. He soon had his own chair and eventually started hanging around for companionship in addition to the treats I would give him.

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Fall Serenity – fall foliage along a stream in Santa Fe

This is only my second full summer here in Santa Fe, New Mexico and I have recently found a new photo playground – up in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

I first scouted the area the other week, then brought our photography workshop students up there for a sunrise shoot. A few days following the photo workshop I returned to spend more time photographing.

Fall foliage and aspen trees in the Santa Fe National Forest

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Rainy day in Santa Fe

It is not often that we get almost a full day of rain here in Santa Fe, NM.

Thanks to a huge monsoon push we are in for a rainy week. Today already we had over an inch of rain before 6pm. In my home state of CT an inch of rain is nothing but out here an inch can cause flash flooding.

This photo was shot with my iPhone 5 looking out my RV window – my view for the entire day as I worked on blog posts and some new photos I hope to be releasing soon. I did a quick enhancement on this in the Snapseed app to really bring out the water droplets. And this blog post was done by the Pressgram app, which I wrote about earlier today.

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