Andrew McCarthy, an astronomer, has once again impressed us with his wonderful work. His most recent shot was captured during the century’s longest partial moon eclipse. He went above and above as usual, staying up till 4 a.m. to photograph thousands of photos, which he then combined into a magnificent composite portrait.
The end product is a rich, comprehensive view at the full lunar eclipse cycle. McCarthy originally came up with the concept for the total lunar eclipse in May, so it’s a wonderful creative shot that took months to create. Because geography limited his ability to get the photo during that event, he knew he’d have to be ready when the partial eclipse rolled around.
“Because of the time the eclipse began and its location in the sky, I was able to catch the full process from beginning to end for this shot.” That allowed me to acquire a comprehensive photo of the eclipse at every step,” he tells My Modern Met. “At first, I imagined that each picture would overlap just enough to form a spherical shadow, emulating Earth’s shadow’s circular shape. But it has been done before, and I wanted to do something different. I believed that by placing each picture in these placements, I was able to give the composition more depth and better represent what we’re looking at, which is a darkened sphere.”
McCarthy had a three-camera setup in his Arizona garden to guarantee that he captured every scene. Despite the fact that high-altitude clouds threatened to destroy the scene, he was able to overcome it utilizing HDR methods. Of course, the photography is only the beginning of the process of creating a picture of this size.
McCarthy combined dozens of photographs taken throughout the event to ensure that each moon has enough of detail on both the light and shadow sides. With three cameras, he was able to capture a variety of photographs from various angles, resulting in an extraordinarily clean, clear view of the moon.
McCarthy, as is customary for him, likes sharing his creative process with his fans, so he posted a behind-the-scenes video of the shooting to Instagram. Prints of this artwork are also available on his website, as well as a high-resolution version on Patreon.