Sometimes, You Take What The Sea Gives You
I understand the technique of blood moon and moon eclipse photography, but I have never done it. So there we were in the Bahamas on our boat, when the “never again in my lifetime” blood moon eclipse arrived. Damn.
I re-read the blogs and DIY sites (600-800mm telephoto, 30 second or so exposure, ensure true infinity focus, place an interesting object near or over the huge orange moon for perspective). Check. I put a 300mm Nikon 2.8 VR and a 2x teleconverter on my D800e. Check. And I scouted for a suitable object at a great enough distance to give the giant orange moon a fascinating perspective. Oops.
We were in Great Harbour Cay in the Berry Islands, Bahamas. With work I could maybe have highlighted a palm tree. Blecch. But I had recently done work photographing the wreck of the fishing vessel “Summer Place” in daylight. Hmmm. I arranged the gear, looked at the charts, and realized there just was no way to get the shot. We would have had to anchor our dinghy a few miles from our trawler Largo, set a tripod on the ocean floor in 5 feet of water, and take the shot with wind and tide slapping the tripod, blurring the long exposure, and splashing $20K of camera and lens into a salty mess. Sigh. Nope.
I grabbed a Nikon 14-24 f2.8 wide-angle instead, and a fishing rod, and off Karen and I went on our dinghy in the dark. The moon was hazy just above the sunset. Damn. But we motored up very close anyway and drifted quietly by the wreck, and I was able to get a few shots at a high ISO and wide-open aperture. The results are above, which had the seagulls quite upset at roosting time. Sometimes, the classic shot won’t work. This shot was a compromise with the ocean, and we took what she gave us. Good sailors and photographer’s always do. 🙂