During the last few days of January, I visited the Valley of the Gods in southeast Utah. This area, which was part of the Bears Ears National Monument until the monument was greatly reduced in size, has very little population, little visitation, and very dark skies. Those facts, plus the Valley’s scenic buttes and bluffs, made this an excellent location to shoot the total lunar eclipse on the morning of January 31st.
To see more photos from this trip, please visit the Valley of the Gods 2018-01 location gallery. Click on any image below to see a larger version.
For nearly a week before the trip, I studied maps, read internet articles and used smart phone apps to plan the trip and the specific timing of the eclipse. I arrived a couple days before the eclipse to scout locations in person, and to shoot the starry skies above the buttes.
Since the moon was nearly full during the nights just before the eclipse, I also made some moonrise shots above the rock formations.
During the eclipse I took several lunar “close-ups” to show the changes in color and the details of the moon’s surface
Finally, during the daylight hours, I re-visited the scenic areas throughout the valley.
This trip pointed out the benefits of careful advanced planning for celestial events. Using the Photo Pills app on my phone allowed me to be in the right place at the right time to capture this heavenly event.
To see more photos from this trip, please visit the Valley of the Gods 2018-01 gallery.
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