The Epic Lunar Eclipse Photo that Didn’t Happen.

Did you see the Lunar eclipse last night? Did you photograph it? I didn’t…

I decided to chance it and took a drive out to St Mary’s Loch about an hour North of me. The water had been like a mirror earlier in the day and the skies were clear in Hawick. The first spot I tried was perfect. Stones had fallen in place for me, the sky had just a light smattering of mist which produce a 22 degree halo around the Moon. Everything was right, I had stars in my eyes. This was gonna be a goddamn award winner. I just wanted that white glow to turn red and illuminate the scene like a hell. What happened was worse. A deep fog rolled in and eventually extinguished all I could see of the Devil’s lightbulb. I left with nothing. I’ll have to remember this photo as the one that got away.

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Here’s the photographs that tell that short story.

Arriving at 1AM after a long drive I was greeted with this incredible view. It was quiet, serene, meditative and everything I hoped for. There were even stones in the lake pointing toward the Moon. The excitement was palpable, this was going to be a great night of photography.

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I played around with a few compositions. Ideally I wanted to shoot in a landscape format, but even with a 17mm lens the Moon and its reflection were too close to the edge of the frame. By 2AM the haze above the loch had thickened creating a truly ethereal moment. I knew that when Earth’s shadow finally met the white orb the red light it reflected would illuminate my frame a deep red.

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3AM. Completely on cue the mist I had been banking on had developed into a grand fog between where I stood and the Moon. Just minutes before totality everything disappeared. I couldn’t see my arms in front of me. I tried taking a few frames. My exposure time had stretched to a few minutes. The last image I captured successfully was the crescent about to vanish.

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I left with nothing.

I’ve had a lot of kind comments regarding the above photographs, saying that I should be proud because they’re beautiful etc. This is all very well, but to me they are no more than stock fodder, test shots or a journey to a failure. You can visit photography sites like 500px any day of the week and be greeted with images like these and I didn’t want to add to that.

My aim, of which I failed was to create a stunning landscape immersed in the red light of the eclipsed Moon. It was unfortunate that it didn’t happen despite the conditions being perfect, but hey-ho maybe next time, hey?


All images and text are property of Phogotraphy‘s creator Sam Cornwell.

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