There it is in the photo, so big and round and real that it looks like a slightly smudged super pinky ball that you could pluck from the frame.
It’s the Super Blood Wolf Moon Total Lunar Eclipse, captured in the wee small hours of the morning on January 21, by local “lunar-tic” photographer Joy Yagid.
Yagid captured the image from her front yard in Maplewood in sub-freezing temperatures. Originally she had planned to host an eclipse party in Maplewood Memorial Park but she “bailed on the park because … it was dangerously cold and I didn’t want people to get frostbite.”
Instead, Yagid reports that her “neighbors were ‘with’ me – from their porches. The family was in bed, warm.” Although the eclipse began at around 11:41 p.m. and ended at 12:43 p.m., Yagid said she “stayed out maybe 10 minutes” at the midpoint of the eclipse due to the temps; nonetheless, her “fingers were burning within two minutes.”
Yagid, who traveled hundreds of miles last summer to capture the last solar eclipse, said she was not daunted by the late hour or frigid temperatures because the last she wasn’t happy with how the photos came out from her last total lunar eclipse photography attempt in 2010: “[I] didn’t know what I didn’t know. I know a bit more now.”
And exactly what is that?
“Those who want to know – I did a variety of settings. Since the light of a full moon follows the sunny 16 rule – the rapidly fading light of the eclipse required trial and error. I am not a pro astro-photog in any way. I used what I had – a 300mm, so yes, the image is cropped, I put it on live view to lock up the mirror and set a delay for the exposure of 2 sec. This was so that I minimized camera shake inside the camera. Didn’t have a cable release or teleconverter. To compensate for the wind aka camera shake on the outside of the camera – I held down the tripod and took many, many pix. And due to the wind, I raised the ISO and lowered the shutter speed. The moon is moving and the earth is moving. There are magic boxes you can mount your camera on to do all the math and keep the camera in sync/line with the moon. Don’t have one of those either. The max shutter speed should be about 2-2.5 sec with an ISO of 400-ish. I eventually went with .4 secs with an ISO of 1250 at f5.6. I still have a bunch I can stack aka HDR – but not sure if I did that correctly, so that will be an experiment for later.”
Whatever the method, the results are stunning. Wrote one Facebook friend, ” You captured it beautifully, Joy! I have seen many lunar eclipses but this was the first where I saw the spherical quality of the moon, it actually looked like a ball in the sky! You captured this quality and the beautiful colors!”
For prints of the Super Wolf Blood Moon by Yagid [or any of her other images including the 2017 solar eclipse], visit: https://www.joyyagid.com/