Total Lunar Eclipse 2019

”I'm not going to shoot the lunar eclipse.” That's said the day before it happened. I thought a lunar eclipse would be too boring, visually, to sacrifice my morning hours of sleep for. And I had seen lunar eclipses before.

But then I googled it and found out it would be the last chance in almost 10 years to see a total lunar eclipse here in Finland. Why would I deliberately choose to miss that, I thought. So I set my alarm clock to 4:00 am and headed out already at 4:20. It was cold, –21°C, when I left home. I was, as always, very warmly dressed so the temperature did not bother me even once during the morning. I had selected an open space just outside of my town so driving there took only a few minutes.

Before the eclipse started I had time to walk around and take photos in the beautiful full moon light. The setting was totally amazing. Lots of fluffy snow in the trees. When the moon laid its blue velvet light over everything it sure became magical. I took a selfie by the pine trees and moved on over the field to another tree.

I knew there were ditches here and there, but they were impossible to detect visually. You discovered them by stepping down in them. But I was prepared for that so I walked carefully. When the moon started sailing into earths core shadow I mounted my vintage Chinon 200 mm lens on my camera.

Ove Lillas taking photos of the lunar eclipse

Here's a confession from a photographer: I don't own a high quality tele lens. Really, I don't. I'm a wide angle photographer and rarely need more than the 105 mm on my Canon zoom lens. But I bought a couple of vintage Pentax analog cameras in the 90's and with those I also got quite a few lenses. This was one of them.

I followed the eclipse, taking photos every now and then, had a mini breakfast (a sandwich and hot chocolate) and enjoyed the event.

When the moon was almost fully eclipsed and the dark part became red I decided to change back to my zoom lens and capture the blood moon in the wonderful winter landscape. These photos turned out to be a lot more interesting than the closeup of the eclipse itself.

The moon took a break and hid behind some clouds and I had to go home to wake up my family and get my 3 year old to kindergarten. When I had dropped him off there I took a few photos in the town as the moon undressed from the earths shadow.

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