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Blood Moon 2014

The moon has always been an object of fascination, but I wouldn't go

so far as to worship it. I do, however, praise God, whose idea it was.

With the appearance of the blood moons in my lifetime, I became

aware of their prophetic significance, and I wanted to be sure not

to miss the rare opportunity to photograph one.

It was April 15, 2014. 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.