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Under the Super Blue Blood Moon Sky

July 5, 2018

I am Nithya Rajapandian, 25, aspiring photographer from India. You may find my work on Instagram @Nithyarajapandian. My childhood vacations were filled with memories of travel & photography; special moments captured on a Canon film camera, which my parents eventually introduced me to. I remember the vivid images of me, amazed by a simple ride to mountains, the lush, rolling green hills, huge waterfalls and just the general wonders of nature. It was seeing these amazing places that first gave me a very slow & strong urge to pick up a camera, viewing the places & people around me through the viewfinder. 

 

Today I am sharing a photograph series that we created during one of the rarest natural phenomenons - a super blue blood moon, January 31st, 2018. Given the fact that this rarest display of mother nature’s elements will not happen again until January 31 2037, the last time occurring in 1866 – we decided to make something creative & timeless out of it. 

 

 ISO - 2500 / Aperture - f/4 / Exposure time - 4 sec (bulb mode) / Focal length - 19mm

Idea

 

We decided to incorporate light painting with tubes which was achieved from a long exposure, photographing the patterns created with them. The main idea was to create something that symbolizes the super blood blue moon and the joy of watching such a super rare event in our lifetime. We decided to draw out moon shaped patterns using the tube and choose the colour Red and white for our tubes.  

 

Location scouting 

 

With days of planning, the first thing on our checklist was to find a suitable location. We decided to do it on the shores of East coast of India (south) – Bay of Bengal, owing to the fact that:

  • Moonrise will be visible from the horizon and there will be enough time for us to take all of the shots that we had planned for. 

  • With the help of www.timeanddate.com we were able to identify the direction & time of moonrise. The built iPhone app – compass, helped to give us the direction which we used at the time of finding the right spot. 

Light painting tubes

 

Inspired by the renowned photographer Eric Pare’s works with light tubes – I decided to get similar tubes, however, that was one of the challenges we faced since there were no ready-to-use tubes here. We had to customize it as per our requirement. 
 

I grabbed a 1 meter transparent acrylic tube (Outer Diameter 50mm ; Inner Diameter 44mm) from a local hardware store & used spray painting to paint one in red & one in white. 

 

On the open end of the tube, we fixed a powerful flashlight – preferably, one with strobe mode. We then closed the other end of the tube with lid.  

 

Camera gear 

  • Canon EOS 7d mark ii for its brilliant focussing capability at low light

  • Wide angle kit lens 18-135mm for the light painting shots to bring in as much details as possible. 

  • Canon Telephoto 70-200mm for close shots of moon & time-lapse of the moonrise as planned. 

On the Super blue blood moon day 

 

The big day – with a lot of questions, doubts & anticipation, we arrived at our shoot location a little too early. We found a place where the shores of the beach were covered with a green carpet of plants and the waves crashed on the shores, and began to set up our shoot.

 

The camera gear was set to capture the moonrise first and then at twilight, we would shoot the light painting scenes. The sun quickly went down – it rose & we froze. The super blue blood moon was rising behind the thin layers of clouds, it was beautiful, but unfortunately reduced the visibility of the moon. The moon was not close as we imagined - I guess Nature has its' own way of surprising us. 

 

We acted quickly and my friends aligned themselves according to the moon’s position – the model posed and my other friend was right behind her, drawing the patterns with light tube. We had the shot – under the twilight skies, stars, hints of clouds, and the super blue blood moon. 

 

With that said, the light beam directly pointing toward the moon was totally unplanned – another friend of mine who had been enjoying the eclipse, pointed a flashlight directly towards the moon which added a great touch to this photograph.

 

Here are few other Photos which I took on that special day 

 

 Who would not love to set your imagination horses free ? - Milky added in post processing | ISO - 1000 / Exposure time - 2.2 sec (bulb mode) / f/5.6 / Focal length - 22mm

 ISO - 2000 / Exposure time - 1/5 sec / f/3.2 / Focal length - 200mm

 ISO - 2500 / Exposure time - 1/15 sec / f/3.2 / Focal length - 200mm

 

This was indeed a special day with lot of memories to take back and cherish during my lifetime. My
photos cannot do any justice to the super blue blood moon that rose on that day, but still it always fills me with a sense of happiness and excitement to see what nature has to offer.
That is why, for me, photography is more than just something to do with camera – it’s a vision of you - it’s a vision of the world.

 

 

 

 

ISO - 2500 / Exposure time - 1/15 sec / f/3,2 / Focal length 200mm 

 

This indeed was a special day with lot of memories to take back and cherish it for my lifetime. My photos will not do any justice to the super blood moon that rose on that day but still it always fills me with a sense of happiness and excitement to see what Nature has to offer next. 

That is why photography to me is more than just something to do with camera – it’s a vision of you - it’s a vision of the world. 

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