This January hosted a very unique astronomical event, the super blue blood moon. A supermoon is when the moon is closest to Earth in its elliptical orbit and can appear visually about 14% larger. A bluemoon is simply the second full moon in a calendar month. Finally, a blood moon is when there is a lunar eclipse and the moon turns a red/orange tint due the the spill over of sunlight around the edge of the Earth. I wanted to make the most of this event by traveling to a unique location and capture a rock climber silhouetted by the rising moon. I met with rock climber Jakob Chew and we decided on using the iconic rock climbing faces in Joshua Tree National Park for this photography project. There were lots of elements we needed to prepare for to make this shot happen.
That night the moon lit up Joshua Tree National Park so brightly it almost felt like daytime and we were ready to set up for the lunar eclipse, blood moon, shot. I really wanted to get a shot of an iconic Joshua Tree silhouetted by the Blood Moon. This proved to be very difficult to plan becasue the time the lunar eclipse would be reaching totality it would be about 30 degrees above the horizon, which meant I needed to find a location where I could be at a lower elevation than the Joshua tree I chose. It also meant I needed to be a great distance from the tree in order to use my large lenses or even my telescope. I found a spot in a dried up river bed with a Joshua Tree grove perched on a tiny hill above me that might work out. As the moon was starting to eclipse I was blown away by the vibrance of the red/orange color. I set up my telescope to capture a timelapse of the whole process. It was truly memorable. Once the moon started to drop in the sky I was able to line it up with some Joshua trees and I got a few shots of the blood moon setting behind them. I was not far enough away to use my telescope or super telephoto lenses so the subject to moon ratio was not as impressive as I had hoped. I was a little disappointed I did not completely fulfill my vision but thankfully there will be another blood moon in almost exactly one year!