Given the hype around the event, this photo should come as no surprise. January 20 was the day of the Super blood wolf moon eclipse. A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon and sun are on the exact opposite sides of the earth. Because of the refraction of light, the moon appears reddish in color rather than being completely black. A super moon occurs when a full moon is at its closest point in its orbit around Earth. This can make the moon appear to be up to 30% brighter. Finally, the wolf moon designation is the full moon in January. Not really much to add there except it sounds cool.

I’ve seen a lot of lunar eclipses in my time and don’t usually pay a lot of attention. This time was a bit different, as the astronomical event was hyped up at my son’s school. My wife went to bed early, so for Nate and I it became a fun father-son activity. Every fifteen minutes or so we would go outside to watch the progress. I had two tripods set out in the backyard, one for photography, and one with a spotting scope.

After the moon reached the total eclipse stage, I put my exhausted son to bed and imported the images into my computer. To my dismay, I found that my total eclipse photos were too dark or too blurry. Thankfully a lunar eclipse lasts much longer than a solar eclipse. I threw my coat on, went back outside, and shot a second round of photos.

The next day Instagram was about 86% moon pictures, 86% of them looking exactly the same. I wanted to do something slightly different than the typical progression series of photographs, so I went with a four-image grid. This became my favorite image of the week.

Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse

Canon EOS 7D, Canon EF 100-300 F/4.5-5.6 USM at 300mm, f/22 at 1/320, ISO 800.
Canon EOS 7D, Canon EF 100-300 F/4.5-5.6 USM at 300mm, f/22 at 1/320, ISO 800.
Canon EOS 7D, Canon EF 100-300 F/4.5-5.6 USM at 300mm, f/22 at 1/400, ISO 800.
Canon EOS 7D, Canon EF 100-300 F/4.5-5.6 USM at 300mm, f/5.6 at 1 second, ISO 800.

Digital Darkroom. The first challenge was to cull through the dozens of nearly-identical images to pick the best ones. After that, I got the full moon image looking good. I increased exposure (+0.79), contrast (+57), and clarity (+32). I lowered blacks (-33) to remove any stray stars, and added some sharpening and noise reduction. I then copied and pasted these values to the other non-eclipse photos. For the final eclipse image, I again copied the values over, and made a few minor tweaks. I then cropped each image square and used the PhotoGrid app to turn it into a grid. Finally, I added a light red frame to help emphasize the color of the moon.

WIRR stands for Weekly Image Rich Ruh. This regular feature on Das Has von Ruh will show and describe my favorite photo created during this weekly period. My weeks start on Mondays, as does the WIRR. I’m hoping to include commentary on the story, the setting, the specs, or the sentiments, depending on the circumstances.