Dallas Photographer Mike Mezeul Captured the Best "Blood Moon" Photo of All

Mike Mezeul II
If you didn't stay up late on Monday night to witness the "Blood Moon," fear not. The cosmos have conveniently scheduled three reruns over the next two years. Can't wait six months? Observer freelancer Mike Mezeul II has you covered.

He's the guy who shot the time-lapse photo you've probably already seen on your social media feed. (When my mother-in-law posts it on her Facebook feed, describing it as merely "viral" is woefully inadequate.)

The Baltimore Sun's photography blog caught up with Mezeul for an explanation of how he did it. Short answer: He stood out in the cold for a really long time.

I had been planning this shot for about two weeks before Tuesday morning's lunar eclipse. With every lunar eclipse that occurs, my social media feeds blow up with tight shots of the moon, which are great for detail, but I've always felt they lacked "life."

With that said, I knew that I wanted to create a composition that not only showed the amazing eclipse, but tied in an incredible foreground as well. I mean, why not include the Earth? We are kind of the reason for the lunar eclipse, right?

With the spring wildflowers popping up around Texas, I really narrowed down a search for a large bluebonnet field. I loved the idea of a big blue field contrasting with the red moon. After some tips via Facebook, I found a field in Ennis, Texas -- a southeastern suburb of Dallas -- that would be perfect for my composition.

It faced south, was far enough from the Dallas city lights that light pollution wouldn't be an issue, and it was acres of bluebonnets.

I set out around 11 p.m. with fellow photographer friend James Langford and spent the next 7 hours shooting moon transitions. I shot the images with my Nikon D800 and a 24-70mm lens and a Nikon 70-200mm lens.

At around 4 a.m., I was standing out in the middle of this bluebonnet field, freezing my tail off, staring at the moon wondering, 'What in the heck am I doing here?'

I was so cold and the transition of the eclipse was taking so long, that I started to have doubts the shot I had imagined wouldn't be worth the effort.

But, I shot the transitions every 10 minutes to make sure that I would have a complete set of transitions to use.

Once the eclipse was over, I combined all the phases with the landscape image to create the final composition.

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Sotiredofitall topcommenter

Stayed up and watched it live - Highly recommend

You get another chance October 8 - should be even better with colder air temp

TheRuddSki topcommenter

While it may be pretty, keep in mind that, like an LA sunset, there's a man-made downside. In this case, I'm pretty sure global warmening caused this.


I'm curious how much photoshop went into this.  I also photographed the eclipse, and I remember the moon being much higher in the sky.  I know this is a composite but did he shoot the moon with one lens and the landscape with another, then combine them?  As a photographer, that changes this from a photo (or composite photo) to a photographic illustration.


That has to be one off the best pictures I have seen.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Bravo!  I think his choice of a field of bluebonnets as setting for the beautiful phenomenon must have been inspired by one of my favorite Texas artists, Julian Onderdonk.  Very well done.


@TheCredibleHulk @no_thanks  

I get that it's a composition.  But why even include the bluebonnets then?  Insert Mt. Everest, or the surface of Mars if you are just going for "wow" factor.  At what point does digital manipulation turn this in to a work of art rather that a picture?


@no_thanks @TheCredibleHulk  help me understand the difference between "a work of art" and "a picture"?

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