How I got the shot: Capturing the lunar eclipse

1 Photo

Texas-based photographer Mike Mezeul spent 7 hours in a field outside of Dallas, Texas to take this unconventional shot of the lunar eclipse Tuesday night. Here’s a look at how he did it.

Mike — “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.”

The morning after the photo was posted on Facebook, the image had been shared more than 43,000 times.

Mike Mezeul II is a self-taught photographer based out of Allen, Texas. He specializes in severe weather, commercial, landscape, and sports photography, and was an Eddie Adams Workshop attendee. He teaches photography and post-processing workshops around the nation and spends his free time traveling to national parks documenting landscapes and the night sky.

Mike can be reached at


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