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

This is part 2 of how I photographed the blood moon lunar eclipse on April 15th.
For info on how I photographed it with camera settings visit part 1. Here in part 2 I talk about how I enhanced it on the computer.

Following the 5 hours or so of sleep I got after photographing the lunar eclipse till 2:45 in the morning I began to create the final image on my 15″ MacBook Pro laptop.

The saguaro cactus scene that was photographed with my Sony a7 and Sony FE 35mm f2.8 lens was processed in the RAW converter Capture One Pro.

Looking at a before and after photo of the enhancements made in Capture One Pro.

Looking at a before and after photo of the enhancements made in Capture One Pro.

In the above screen shot you can see a before (bottom photo) and an after photo in C1. I made a number of slight tonal adjustments and color/saturation adjustments. I also corrected the perspective of the photo to remove distortion brought on by the wide angle lens, and corrected some lens vignetting. Notice the shadow detail I was able to bring out of the original photo. I have found I can pull out a great deal of shadow detail from the Sony a7/a7R cameras and Capture One Pro.

I exported the processed file as a tiff file to my computer, then opened it up in Perfect Layers in Perfect Photo Suite 8. While Perfect Photo can be opened as a plugin from Photoshop, I prefer to use it as a standalone program.

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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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Lunar Eclipse Blood Moon over Phoenix

“Lunar Eclipse Blood Moon over Phoenix”.

Suess Lunar Eclipse over Phoenix web

 “Lunar Eclipse Blood Moon over Phoenix”
North Scottsdale, AZ
(Click on above photo to view larger and to order prints)

This 18 photo composite shows the entire lunar eclipse from April 14&15, 2014 starting with the moon on the far left at 10:45pm, peaking with a blood moon at 12:46am in the top center, and ending at 2:45am on the right.

This was photographed with my Sony a7 mirrorless digital camera, the Sony FE 35mm f2.8 lens, and a Canon 70-200mm f2.8 lens. RAW files were processed in Capture One Pro, and the composite was built and further enhanced in Perfect Photo Suite 8 from onOne Software. I will write a blog post soon on how I photographed and processed this image.

As always feel free to share 🙂

Prints are available here: http://www.mattsuess.com/fine-art-photography-complete-collection/e237993ef

It’s a Tough Job…

It’s a tough job being a truck on a horse ranch.

The days are long, the sun is strong, and there is always work to be done. Your work defines you and just by looking you can tell Old Betsy here has done her share of hard work over the years. Yet there is still more to be done…

Its a tough job

 “It’s a Tough Job…”
Scottsdale, AZ
This is a Suess Original and only one piece is available. For availability see here.

 

Notes from the field:

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Suess Fine Art Photography at Celebration of Fine Art in Scottsdale

Earlier in the year I opened one of the best letters I have received, notifying me that I was accepted as an artist for one of the most prominent art shows in the West, the 24th annual Celebration of Fine Art in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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2013-12-11_11-16-02

The 10 week show features more than 40,000 square feet of working studios and works of art by 100 top-rated artists from throughout the country.

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Balancing Act – Zion National Park Utah

Normally a crystal clear river, after a weekend storm in Zion National Park the Virgin River turned a beautiful chocolate brown and was running fast.

Balancing Act

 “Balancing Act”

Zion National Park, Utah
(Click on photo to view larger and to purchase singed & numbered fine art photographs)

While hiking along the river I found this rock cairn in the middle of it. By both photographing on an overcast day and using my Singh-Ray Vari-N-Duo thin-ring polarizing variable neutral density filter, I was able to slow down my shutter speed long enough to give the river a smooth and silky look.

Photo Details:

Photographed with a Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 24-70mm lens and a Singh-Ray Vari-N-Duo thin-ring polarizing variable neutral density filter with a 25 second exposure at f14.

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