September 27, 2015 was the last chance to see a total lunar eclipse in the eastern United States until 2019 according to the cognoscenti. So even though the skies had been overcast for several contiguous days I didn’t want to wake up this morning and learn that there was a miraculous parting of the clouds for the entire event.
I had a place all picked out for the moonrise, but the clouds close to the horizon blocked the view. But the next time moon rises at about 90 degrees east (due east), this wouldn’t be a bad place to be. Without the clouds, it would have been right next to the base of the Washington Monument.
Then, as the time approached for the actual eclipse to begin, I moved over to my chosen location near the German-American Friendship Garden along Constitution Avenue. The location itself looked like it had potential for a night shot, so I tried a test exposure with my wide angle lens.
But the eclipse was due and the clouds seemed to be breaking up so I set up a few yards away with the hope of getting a series of exposures as the moon tracked across the sky into the earth’s shadow. These would then be combined into a single image in post-processing. This, of course, requires a wide angle lens and, because of the timing, a tall building to add some interest to the exposure and the Washington Monument certainly qualifies. But the skies didn’t really clear and I suspect the substantial amount of clouds in each image will make for a prolonged post-processing effort that may lead nowhere. However, here is a cropped version of one of the images during the totality phase.
Imagine, if you will, a wider (uncropped) image with a sequence of moons in various stages of the eclipse crossing over the top. My first attempt at this, last year, can be seen here with the Lincoln Memorial