After a Friday night of shooting football and finally falling asleep at about 1am Saturday morning, I dragged myself out of a dreamless slumber at 4:30am, slipped north up the 101 and headed to the Geysers to get a clear view of the lunar eclipse.  Surprisingly, as the valley was shivering at 30 degrees, up at Hawkeye Ranch, the sky was clear of haze and the air temperature was a balmy 65 degrees (it’s a thermal belt thing).

I love working in a t-shirt in the middle of winter.

Several friends and a few co-workers ask me why I get up to shoot these types of events.  What can I say?  I do these shoots so those that weren’t able to launch from REM sleep can at least get a sense of what takes place above our landscape.  Plus, it’s a challenge to prove to myself that I can function before the sun comes up.

At the peak of the Lunar Eclipse, early Saturday morning Dec. 10, 2011 a shooting star darts across the sky during a thirty second time exposure, framed in the entrance to Hawkeye Ranch near Geyserville. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat) 2011

Working with two cameras, a Canon 7d  with a 400mm lens and a doubler to get the shot below and a Canon 5d equipped with a 16-35mm zoom to get the shot above.  Extra lucky was I when a shooting star carved a trail in the night sky.

The lunar eclipse, Saturday Dec. 10, 2011, halfway to total eclipse. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2011

As dawn approached, the sky took on a different hue, which was captured with the 5d and a straight 400 2.8 lens, below.

The sky brightens as dawn rolls around during the lunar eclipse, Saturday Dec. 10, 2011. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2011

 

-Kent Porter