Colorado native and landscape photographer, Alex Burke, captured the May 2022 lunar eclipse event using only one sheet of E100 film and his large format camera. His image of an abandoned homestead, taken on the prairie in Weld County, Colorado, was made with twenty one exposures.
Lunar eclipses are complex to capture even with digital technology and editing software. It’s no small feat that Alex managed to execute the lunar eclipse photograph on one sheet of Kodak Ektachrome E100. He says that it was simple despite the final image having more than a few exposures. (source: Alex Burke Photography)
Alex said in his blog,‘When I posted the image on Instagram, there were immediately a ton of questions about how to pull off such an image. This final image has 21 exposures on one sheet of film, and most of the questions seem to revolve around how I managed not to overexpose the sheet. It’s actually quite simple, but my goal is to clear out some of the confusion around multiple exposures with this blog post.’
He describes his full process of managing the multiple exposures in his blog article here.
Choosing Large Format and E100
As to the choice of camera format, the self-taught photographer said on his website, ‘The way I see the world is best conveyed through the lens of a large format film camera. The extreme clarity of this traditional medium allows me to capture every minute detail in the scene just the way it was. The rich colors and tones of film allow me to express my vision powerfully, while the technical movements of a large format camera allow for incredible focus and perspective control unlike any other format.’
He also mentions the use of E100 film was very intentional for the shot, ‘Slide films generally perform quite well at night and show true colors, and E100 is very forgiving with exposure (for a slide) just in case I messed something up.’
Getting Back to Home
I asked Alex if he would share how he became interested in landscape photography. He said, ‘I grew up in a small mountain town with nature in my backyard, but I didn’t really appreciate it until I moved to a city and wanted to spend as much time as possible outside of the busy world. Photography pushed me to get further out there, and became a main drive in all of my life’s adventures.’
If you follow Alex’s stories on Instagram, you might catch him biking occasionally to make photographs, when the location is near enough to home. Jokingly saying this would offset his cost of film.
For those of you that enjoy collecting or hanging another photographer’s art on your walls, Alex has a print store where he publishes his work. Check it out here!
Try for Yourself
Alex recommends heading over to Mr Eclipse (mreclipse.com) for further information on capturing the eclipse with a camera. The website was created by Fed Espenak, a retired NASA astrophysicist and photographer. It includes information on both lunar and solar eclipses and how to photograph them. I had a browse around the site and the resources seem endless. A good place to start, if this a new subject for you, is the lunar eclipse for beginners page here.
Using Mr. Eclipse’s charts, the next lunar eclipse is due on November 08, 2022!