Dedicated vigil results in composition of lunar eclipse

Eclipse . . . Oamaru man James Glucksman dedicated himself to the cause to capture the entirety of the total lunar eclipse last week. He supplied this composition, dubbed A Clockwork Orange, to The Oamaru Mail. PHOTO: SUPPLIED/JAMES GLUCKSMAN

A dedicated Oamaru photographer settled in for the long haul last week to capture the total lunar eclipse, or blood moon.

Pen-y-bryn Lodge owner James Glucksman set himself up with his gear at his Kakanui property, and kept vigil from 8.30pm on Monday to 2am on Tuesday, taking a photograph every three minutes.

‘‘One camera was set up with a wide-angle lens to capture the moon every few minutes as it rose in the sky, so all I had to do there was adjust exposure every few minutes as the sky, and the moon, darkened, but the other camera I set up with a very long telephoto lens — 800mm, in fact.’’

Mr Glucksman named the resulting photo composition A Clockwork Orange. He had planned to use a startracker, which countered the rotation of the Earth, but had left it behind at the lodge in Oamaru.

‘‘So I had no choice but to sit there for six hours, re-adjusting the camera’s aim every 10 minutes or so, as the moon progressed from the lower-right corner of the frame to the topleft corner,’’ he said.

In total, he captured 109 usable frames, processing them using Lightroom Classic, to adjust the raw images, and then collating them into a few different compositions, including the one pictured.

‘‘That consists of 12 exposures, evenly spaced on either side of totality, which happened to occur at just about midnight local time.

‘‘I loaded the 12 frames into Photoshop, assembled them as a stack in a single file, and moved the moon into the 12 positions on the clockface. I then used the starry background from the darkest frame, at midnight, as the background.’’

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the moon, Earth and sun line up during a full moon. The Earth blocks any sunlight from reaching the moon, and instead light is bent through the Earth’s atmosphere, casting a reddish hue over the moon.

The partial eclipse began just after 10pm, according to The full eclipse was visible from 11.16pm to 12.41am.