When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.
– Mahatma Gandhi
30th January 2018 was observed for 70th year of the great leader Mahatma Gandhi. And yesterday 31st January 2018 we witnessed a rare celestial event Super Blood Blue moon with full lunar eclipse. The combination of three phenomenon Blood Moon, Super Blue moon and Lunar eclipse took place 150 years ago and next will take place after 170years of now.
Before sharing my behind the shot story, let me brief you about some basics information of this celestial event.
Supermoon occurs when the moon get closest to earth which makes it looks 14% bigger and 30% brighter than usual.
Bluemoon is second full moon of the month. It’s also a rare event.
Both of these event concide with Lunar eclipse which made this a rarest and lifetime event. Photograhers and astrologers was super excited and waiting for it from very long. I was also one of those photograhers.
Okay ! So the story begins….
I was planning for it since the last supermoon of 2017 happened in December. I was regularly posting about this event on my social media handles so I can spread awareness for this phenomenon and can get the company of others to witness it. Last week, suddenly I was asked to travel for some official work which was urgent. So I have to drop my plans to witness and shoot the moon in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. As I used to borrow lenses to shoot events in Bhopal, I was bit upset that I won’t be able to shoot this rarest phenomenon because work tour. Also, traveling to Panna, totally a new city for me, so no chances to get the telephoto lens. On 29th January, I arrived Panna. While entering the vehicle crossed Ken river which is a lifeline of Panna Tiger Reserve. Vehicle kept going and it entered the sanctuary, the road with many turns made my first experience beautiful. These visual full of nature and purity calmed my mind and made me happy.
Panna is still disconnected from railways. There is no industries and no factories, traffic is also less. Which makes Panna free from all kind of Air pollution. City is full of herritage buildings, ancient temples and famous of Diamond mines.
As I am the field visit for my office work which is based on a project ‘Digital Democracy: Removing digital devide from rural areas of Madhya Pradesh’. For execution of the project, local teams were alloted laptop, printer, smartphone and a point shoot camera (fixed lens setup). I was training the co ordinators for the effective documentation of this project digitally. During photography session, I got to know that this point shoot camera Nikon Coolpix B500 model has pretty good zoom i.e, is 40X . That was the moment, I got excited. Though I was not sure how the camera will react and work in night time as it’s a point and shoot model with small sensor. But the thought ‘something is better than nothing’ hit my mind and excitement level was maintained with another urdu phrase ‘कुछ न मिलेगा तो तजुर्बा मिलेगा‘ which translates ‘If you get nothing, but you will get experience‘.
On 31st after finishing my work, I asked for the permission from local project coordinator to use the camera, and he agreed.
Air quality of Panna is already healthy and clean, to increase the chances of more clarity, I hiked up to a near by hill. As the camera sensor is poor as compared to DSLR’s sensor. I decided not to take any chances for quality and I climed up to take the shot. I enjoyed the sunset and was eagerly waiting for moon to show up. As per my research moon rise timing was 5:45pm. Moon starts appearing in the blurr at horizon with a narrow band. Time was 6:05pm when I spotted it. Camera was unable to focus the moon. Gradually, Moon started appearing and it was already red. If you have witnessed it, I am damn sure you were also awestruck of these magical moments. This camera keep struggle to focus. I was more happier to witness the blood moon by my naked eyes. I kept camera aside and started staring the sky. I thought it’s not worth wasting time on camera as I assumed its poor sensor won’t allow me to capture it. After an hour when complete lunar eclipse was about to end, a fine curvy edge of moon started reflecting a brightest band. Suddenly I realised the importance of this brightness. 7 years ago when I was practicing photography with a basic point and shoot, I dealt with such dark situations hell lot of times. Camera focus on the brightest part in the frame, and I took out my camera, mounted it on my tripod and start focusing on the edge. Camera hinted a green signal and finally focused the moon. Without spending a microsecond I tapped the click and took 4-5 shot. I reviewed the images, 2 shots was free from button blurr. I was amazed and so statisfied with the shots at the moment.
I witnessed the rest of the eclipse for next one hour and packed my bag and tripod and ran back to my hotel to process and upload the image to my social media accounts @travellust.nomad on Instagram .
During this entire process, I learned the power of being optimistic and positivity. :)
Here is the final shot 👇👇👇 check it.