How an out-of-this-world photo was made

  • Jeff Knox/jknox@dailyherald.comA jet flies in front of the moon during a supermoon lunar eclipse  in Geneva.

    Jeff Knox/jknox@dailyherald.comA jet flies in front of the moon during a supermoon lunar eclipse in Geneva.

  • Jeff Knox, Senior Director of Visual Journalism, Daily Herald Media Group.

    Jeff Knox, Senior Director of Visual Journalism, Daily Herald Media Group.

 
 
Updated 10/4/2019 6:36 PM

I've always liked photographing the moon.

There's something about seeing the craters and knowing astronauts have actually walked on it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Whenever there's a super moon, a blood moon, or an eclipse, I always try to photograph it, weather permitting.

So in September of 2015, we had a pretty rear occurrence of a super blood moon eclipse.

I scoped out locations for the best place to capture images. Oftentimes it's nice to have something in the foreground of a moon photo. Something that offers some perspective on where you made the photograph.

Not so for this moon. It was straight up in the sky, so getting something else in the photo was not going to happen.

The eclipse was going to take a couple of hours to shoot from start to finish.

From my front yard in the suburbs, I set up a 400 mm lens with a 1.4 converter that gave me close to a 600 mm lens. I was making photos every five to six minutes as the eclipse started.

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I was having a conversation with my daughter about a third of the way through the eclipse and showing her some early photos when I noticed a blinking red light in the sky.

I told my daughter I may have just gotten lucky.

As the jet approached the moon, I took 8 or 9 frames as it made its way from the bottom to the top of the moon. Then it was gone.

I looked at the images to see what I had and was pretty happy with the outcome of the plane silhouetted against the moon.

The camera settings changed as the moon became darker from the eclipse, but for this photo, I shot it at ISO 500 at 1/200th of a second with the aperture set at f/10.

I transmitted the photo in to our office just before our deadline. The photo ended up being used all over the country by The Associated Press.

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