Last updateFri, 17 Oct 2014 1pm
Eager Realty

'Blood Moon' lunar eclipse over Lake Chapala

Greg Pyros woke well before daybreak on Wednesday, October 8 at his rented home overlooking Lake Chapala in San Juan Cosala.  The experienced photographer had carefully prepared his equipment the night before in readiness to observe and record the keenly awaited total lunar eclipse that would be visible throughout much of North America.

Using a Nikon D610 full-frame camera with a 300mm f/2.8 lens (plus a 2X teleconverter to get to 600mm), mounted on a sturdy tripod with a wired remote shutter trigger, Pyros kept a timer running and took one image every two minutes.  “I didn’t have a tracker, so I had to follow the moon by hand to keep it centered in the frame,” he says. “It is surprising how fast the moon moves!”

Pyros noted the exact time the eclipse started – 4.01 a.m. – and says the moon set behind the mountains at 7:36 a.m.

For his stunning composite photograph above, Pyros used all manual exposures for f/stop, ISO and shutter speed.  The middle shot in the sequence (a rare “Blood Moon” caused by sunlight scattering off of the Earth’s atmosphere) was taken at ISO 1100 at f/2.8 for 1/5th second, he says.

Now retired, Pyros lives most of the year with his wife Diana in San Carlos, Sonora (near Guaymas) on the Sea of Cortez. He calls himself “just a hobbyist,” although he acknowledges that he did “quite a bit of astrophotography through telescopes” while living in Newport Beach, California.

Pyros worked as an architect in California before owning a visual effects studio that carried out work for movies, TV shows, commercials and computer games.

During their current three-month stay at lakeside (“to beat the desert heat and humidity”), Pyros  has given two photographic presentations for the Lake Chapala Society Camera Club on advanced techniques such as HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography.

“This is our first time here. We love the area and plan to come back next summer,” he says.