Super Blue Blood Moon - A Lunar Eclipse viewed from a Helicopter in Tucson, Arizona - Sean Parker

Super Blue Blood Moon

A Lunar Eclipse viewed from a Helicopter in Tucson, Arizona

#Superbluebloodmoon #lunareclipse #bloodmoon

It was a beautiful morning today as the total lunar eclipse occurred. I believe this is my 3rd total lunar eclipse I've photographed so I decided to try something different. I originally planned on shooting a desert scene since I've already photographed an eclipse through telescopes and rising over the Tucson skyline. I thought to myself Monday morning "hmmm...has anyone tried shooting an lunar eclipse in Tucson from a helicopter?" Google showed only partial eclipses and with DSLR low light capability getting better and better by the year, I wanted to give it a shot. I remembered my friend Jeff Maltzman offering me to test out his Sony A7R3 whenever I wanted so I took him up on that offer and told him what I was thinking for the eclipse.

I told him I found this new helicopter tour company called Volare Helicopters and they were interested in customizing a tour for me. After going back and forth on location ideas / timing / etc, I scheduled my flight with Volare. I was really excited. I spent most the night playing with the new Sony A7R3 and familiarizing myself with it. I tried sleeping for a few hours before meeting them at 6am but excitement prevented that. These kinds of things usually keep me up at night.

My general EXIF settings were as followed:

Sony A7R3 - Sony 24-105 @ F/4 -  ISO 32,000 1/60th for night shots and ISO 10,000 for twilight  (all handheld with IS enabled.)

This is Tyler, the owner and pilot of Volare. Tyler and his wife Tasha moved from Sacramento to Tucson 4 months ago and offer all kinds of helicopter tours in Tucson.

Tyler and Tasha were extremely nice and accomodated my photography needs for this difficult shoot. And most importantly, they were safe!

We flew from Marana Airport to a few miles east of downtown. Then to my favorite resort JW Starr Pass Resort (see why in this blog post) and Gates Pass.

I knew this shoot was going to be a challenge since it was dark, the moon was very dim, and I was shooting without a tripod. This meant I needed a quick shutter speed and high ISO since my lens was limited to F/4 (couldn't find a 24-70 F/2.8 on such short notice!) Although my images didn't come out as good as I hoped, I still had an unforgettable experience up there. Experiencing it from a helicopter was an an absolute thrill. Big thanks again to Tyler and Tasha at Volare Helicoptersfor being up to the challenge and accommodating me. Be sure to visit their website to book your next aerial tour!

Behind the Scene Photos:

BTS Photo Credit: Tasha - Iphone 8 :)

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