This update is to document my shot planning for my recent eclipse shoot, and an awesome app I used.

When I heard about the super blue blood moon, I got really excited. I’m in San Francisco, so I decided to find a local landmark that would work well as a foreground for the eclipse. This required that I know when and where the moon would be when the eclipse was going on.

First, I searched the web for the time of the eclipse. 4-6am. Sheesh! This was going to be an early morning for me...

Now, I know that a full moon means that the moon is opposite the sun in the sky because physics. (Or is it geometry? idc...) Anyway, and judging from the early morning time, I knew the moon would be close to setting as the sun would be rising. So the moon would be in the west. Cool! But I need to know more accurately than that where the moon will be to put something in front of it for the shot...

I have been doing a lot of research lately for my #RedRockExpedition that’s coming up next month. One of the cool things I found while researching the Wave in Arizona was an app called The Photographers Ephemeris. The what? Weird word, is is a type of book that has tables for locations of objects in the sky and cool events. Like a lunar eclipse. Imagine that...

The app has a free web version that’s pretty handy by itself.

It will display a map where you can choose the location. (It’s a google map, so you’ve probably already used it at some point.) The app will display the Sun and moons set and rise compass bearings as lines on the map. It’s easier to show you, here:



You can see this is San Francisco, and I have the date set for January 31st this was the day of the eclipse. Now I can get a better idea of where the moon will be in the sky that morning. Based on this, I decided I would shoot the moon with the Golden Gate Bridge in the foreground. Now where to stand and watch? Playing with the map, I came up with a local feature called the wave organ. It’s a sculpture. It has pipes set in the breakwater so the waves wash over them and make noise. Kinda cool.

Ok, so I know that if I stand at the wave organ, the moon should set behind the bridge and Marin headlands. That’s a considerable distance, if I wasn’t from the area, how would I know if the shot would be possible with the lenses I have? That’s where another cool app from the same company comes into play.

We’ll look at that app in my next post. In the meantime, go check it out: