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Blood Moon

           I found myself in my pajamas in the middle of the street in the middle of the night in front of our mobile home. I coupled the Sigma 150–500mm lens with a doubler on my Nikon D300s so, as distant as the moon is, I could fill the frame.

This lens has great reach, but weighs so much that even a heavy–duty Manfrotto tripod can't hold it in position when aimed straight up toward the heavens.

The doubler defeats the camera's Autofocus, so I needed the camera stabilized

to be able to manually focus. It was kind of a nightmare because I was losing the progression of the lunar eclipse.

          Another problem was that at this degree of magnification, it was hard to hone

in on the subject, and when I finally did, the tripod would not lock it into place.

The moon would leave the frame as the lens sagged downward. I had this problem recently when Jupiter and Venus were both visible. I used the tripod but had the

same issues. I couldn't seem to get the tripod configured so I could gaze

upward either.

          I have a similar problem trying to photograph the woodpeckers in one of

the super tall palm trees here. The last timeI saw one, I finally figured out I could

lay on my back in the grass and spare myself the pain in the neck and get better results. But it never occurred to me back then to lay down on the asphalt. I got

one decent picture of the blood moon somehow.