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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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How to get natural looking HDR photos from a single image with Capture One Pro 7 from Phase One

Photographing fall foliage using HDR techniques can be quite challenging.

Hundreds to thousands of tiny leaves and branches dance and move in even the slightest of breezes. Using a small aperture for maximum depth of field means using slow shutter speeds, potentially causing blur and additional leaf and branch movement.

Combining these multiple exposures – even with the best of ghost reduction in your favorite HDR program – can often cause errors and problems that can sometimes be seen even without zooming in. Sometimes these effects can be minimized by maxing out the ghost reduction, although at the expense of increased halo’s.

Notice the problems shown in this 100% view after I used HDR Efex Pro 2 with ghost reduction.

Notice the problems shown in this 100% view after I used my favorite HDR software – HDR Efex Pro 2 with ghost reduction.

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