Blood Red Moon Over Honolulu – 8 Oct. 2014 at 1:28am

Jim ShimabukuroBy Jim Shimabukuro

I stayed up past 1:30 this morning to get this shot of the blood red moon over Honolulu. The light from the moon, once eclipsed, was very poor. Most of my earlier shots were turning out completely black with no images. I started at 1/200 sec. and worked all the way down the click stops to 1/3 sec. before I was finally able to get a halfway decent image. I had the aperture open all the way to f5.6 the whole time as I walked the shutter speed down.

Blood red moon taken in Honolulu on 10/8/14 at 1:28am. Nikon D5100, f5.6, 1/3 sec., ISO 250, 300mm.

Blood red moon over Honolulu on 10/8/14 at 1:28am. Nikon D5100, f5.6, 1/3 sec., ISO 250, 300mm.

I was using a 300mm zoom, too, so the slow shutter was a problem. I tried to steady the camera by lying back in a beach chair on the south balcony and shooting almost straight up, in the narrow bit of sky between the overhang from the apartment above and the railing. The lens has built-in IS (image stabilization), but most of the photos still ended up with visible blurring around the edges. Anyway, I didn’t futz with the colors in Photoshop. This is the actual red of the moon. However, I did brighten the image a bit to bring out more detail.

2 Responses

  1. That’s a cool shot! I have to admit to staying asleep. Here at SoCal beach, we generally have overcast skies at night or plenty of haze.

    It’s also neat to realize that the blood Moon is caused by the effect that creates red sunsets — and blue skies.

    • This was the first time I witnessed this event firsthand and didn’t know what the visibility would be like. I was hoping for clear sky and got it. I’d definitely use a tripod the next time. Re color — does amount of pollution in the atmosphere affect the degree of redness?

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