If you are located in North or South America, you are in for a real treat to see a spectacular total lunar eclipse on the night of January 20th, 2019. This particular lunar eclipse is rather special, because it will take place with the moon being at its closest proximity to the Earth (Super), it will take place in January (Wolf) and we will see a reddish tint during the lunar eclipse as a result of light being refracted by the Earth’s atmosphere (Blood). Don’t miss the chance to photograph this unique event, because the next total lunar eclipse in our region will not take place until May of 2021.
Those of us from Colorado should get ready by around 7:30 PM – that’s when the lunar eclipse will start, reaching totality by around 9:40 PM. The totality will last over an hour, ending roughly at 10:43 PM for those in Denver. If you want to watch the whole thing, be prepared to stay up past midnight.
If you live in a different region, go to this link, type your city name and you will be able to see the exact times of the eclipse.
I am currently in Death Valley NP teaching a workshop and it looks like we will witness the start of the eclipse at around 6:36 PM, with totality starting at 8:41 PM and ending by 9:43 PM. The whole thing will be over by 11:48 PM. If you are going to be in the area and want to join us for this event, drop me a comment below!
If you are wondering about how you can photograph the Super Wolf Blood Moon Eclipse, please check out the links below for detailed information:
We had a similar moon in the UK not so long ago. Beautiful!
Can I still join for the Lunar eclipse event? Weather is not good where I live and was planning to drive to death valley.
Is there a way to know before hand which is going to be the path of the Moon that day? So I can start now searching for the best spot
Thanks in advance
Martin, check the apps called The Photographer’s Ephemeris and PhotoPills – both can help you with the planning process.
Yes, they both have a VR mode where you can go to a location and view with with phone or pad and as you scroll through time scale the moon will move it’s path that night. Also Planit! for Photographers has a VR Viewfinder mode where you can adjust your lens MM and you will see size of the moon and if you want to do a pano the width of the event with a selected MM lens it will show how many shots at what degrees with overlap you select and up degrees. Like if you have the Voigtlander 10mm only two overlap shots side to side. But like a 35mm it provides the base horizontal and vertical but at the top next to lens MM it will show number and degrees steps which if you adjust the field of view those numbers will change and if you have gear that has preset degrees per click then you can do a pano from moon up to moon down or just the event view use wish to capture. Oh first you will need to download the data for the eclipse to get the timeline. But the midnight shots will be almost 90 degrees up so plan on a way to view what your camera is capturing without being uncomfortable, like on a pad….
Also going to be cold, so to help with battery life hand warmers or foot warmers in long socks around the camera and lens (to prevent fogging)
Nasim and Edwin, thank you so much!! I tried for a bit Photopills and seems to be great. This would be my firsts exercises in astrophotography… so I take it as an invitation from the Moon!
I appreciate all your comments, Edwin. Still I would need a bit to digest it all
The moon will be at the very top of the sky, so I guess only that will be within the frame.
Fortunately for me, I leave in Buenos Aires, currently the temperatures at night hardly get lower than 20° Celsius, so very pleasant weather.
Room is booked at Stovepipe Wells, hope to see you there.
This will be a moon rising all the way up and a little down so prepare for a high noon type shot.
To do an HDR shot to get moon and foreground you may need to do 5 at +/- 3 ev (if your camera can) (.5 sec your center shot /125 1st / and 30 sec last / leave ISO 125) but the only post program that can handle the +/- 3 ev is Oloneo Photoengine even handles the ghosting. For focus ISO/SS 125 and adjust f/# this will give just the moon and keeping ISO/SS the same up or down will keep it focused if you want to make the shots faster with less ghosting. It will be cold most everywhere and hunting blind with a small buddy heater for the 8 hour process or even a 12 hour moon up to moon down segment. Planit! for Photographers will give the Panoramic settings for your lens mm but mainly it covers the moon rise to highest moon attitude and down some. A 10mm ( two at 50 % coverage) will do it but you will want to shoot at 240 or higher to get a close shot of the moon to work with. but get the panos before for a good foreground Star filled sky (just change the date in your camera!!!) After the Feb 2 you will have the Milky Way in the morning times, just wait for clear sky after sunset later.
Remember the moon moves at its Diameter every Two Minutes so HDR shots will have ghosting.
I like to do moon shots without using PS blending. But if you do a foreground shot with a blown out moon just blend the moon no larger than the blown out part to get the size the eye saw it as. just info!!!
Focusing question during the various phases of the Lunar Eclipse–with the total time frame being 5hrs 12minutes, I was going to take 20 total shots at roughly 15 minute intervals (312minutes divided by 20). It will be a long night. But, here are my 2 questions: focusing–would I be able to autofocus the first image (making sure the image is sharp) then turn OFF the auto focus for the balance of the shots and never touch the focusing again? I would think the moon would stay at “infinity” or whatever it is for the entire 5hrs 12minutes?…exposure issue: would I be able to “bracket” at each 15 minute interval, 5 shots with 2 stop intervals? (+4,,+2,EVEN,-2,-4) My thought was that this would properly expose all sides of the moon?
Yes, that makes sense, but only if it’s not a focus-by-wire system. For example, I don’t know if my Nikon Z6 + 24-70S would hold onto that same focus while it goes to sleep and then wakes to shoot between such long intervals.
I think something like my 24-85 VR would work just fine for that.
This is a situation when a legacy manual focus lens can be useful. I have an old Nikon 80-200mm f/4 lens with a hard stop at Infinity. It’s really great for this kind of event.
Regarding exposure… I just looked back at my images from the Lunar Eclipse of January 2018. Here are my exposures at different times (Mountain Standard Time). Eclipse phase: P1 at 0352 MST; U1 at 0448 MST; U2 at 0552 MST; mid-totality at 0630 MST
0350-0526 1/60 f/8 ISO 100
0529-0532 1/15 f/8 ISO 100
0535-0539 1/8 f/8 ISO 100
0541-0547 1/4 f/8 ISO 100
0550-0553 1.0 f/8 ISO 100
0556-0602 8 f/8 ISO100
0605-0608 8 f/8 ISO 200
0611 8 f/8 ISO 400
0632 8 f/8 ISO 800
I used the same settings for an extended period at the beginning — with rapidly changing settings near totality. Settings on the other side of totality were very challenging as twilight began in the east as the moon was setting.
Also, I used an iOptron Skytracker to track with stars so that I could take longish exposures of the moon at totality.
Worth mentioning there are a few other places that will see totality. 5.12am for us in the UK :-)
Thanks Dave! I hope the sky is clear for you to be able to observe and photograph it. I’m hoping here at Death Valley the weather cooperates – it has been raining all night!
Hey, Nasim, I was actually considering DV for the eclipse. We met in Yosemite a few years ago. I’d like to join for the 20th!
Michael, would love to see you again. We will be meeting at Stovepipe Wells by the fireplace at 4 PM. Let me know if you are going to make it.
I will be there, Nasim. Thanks for the invite!
A quick question, Nasim.
When I make a comment, I don’t receive email notifications of subsequent comments any more apart from some articles several years old. There is also no “Subscribe to Comments” checkbox when I make a comment. Is this no longer available or am I missing something?
Murray, that particular feature caused a lot of issues for the website, because some of the articles had hundreds of comments and the system would send too many emails. We ended up removing it from the website :(
As of today, the only emails you will get are those that get responded to directly. Notifications for other people’s comments do not get sent out.
OK, but I don’t even get that. I didn’t get a notification for your comment, for example. I have to come back and look. This means that if someone makes a comment or asks a question after some time, I won’t see it.
That’s strange. Can you check your spam folder to see if messages end up there?
No. I checked from 14 January and nothing there.
Perhaps I’m reading it wrong but the link you provided to check local times shows the eclipse starting at 9:41 pm on January 20th in Colorado, not on the 21st as reflected in the article’s title. In addition the first line of the article states January 20th.
Sorry about that – I cleared the cache, but it still displayed the old copy. The correct date is January 20th!