The nights of January 20 and January 21 were a spectacular celestial event. During this time, a rare Super Blood Wolf Moon was seen in the US. Photographer Jason Weingart knew this was an unforgettable sight. The moon would be 14% larger and 30% brighter than normal, and it would be the last total lunar eclipse until May 2021. On this occasion, he photographed and assembled six levels of the moon in stunning photography.  Weingart's lunar photography shows a progress of the celestial body from the horizon to the total solar eclipse. He started taking pictures at sunset and at the same time recording and editing his composite picture; It was completed just before midnight on the 20th of January. The resulting photo is a breathtaking transition of our moon and it shows how much it has changed in a short time. You can not help but be in awe of our galaxy.
It was an honor for us to talk to Weingart about his image, which became viral shortly after it was released on Instagram. In addition to nocturnal photography, Weingart is also a storm hunter who has captured terrible tornadoes in the Midwest. Learn more about the Super Blood Wolf Moon composite image and Weingart's career as a weather photographer.
What inspired you to capture the Super Blood Wolf Moon
I have not had anything since the Geminid meteor shower for over a month more undressed. I just wanted to have fun and hopefully inspire people to go outside and look up!
How were these photos taken? How long did it take, from the six stages of the moon to the completion of the composite photo?
It took me six hours in total. With how much hype the event dealt with, I knew that there would be a plethora of photographers shooting it. I wanted to make a statement [that was] and be one of the first to do it. I started taking pictures at sunset.
I wish I'd rented a better lens, like the 400mm lens I used for the 2017 solar eclipse, but I only used a cheap 250mm lens. I rotated the barn at 105mm to get a compressed look and eliminate some trees on both sides. After it got dark and I had my recordings, I started working on the composite picture before the eclipse started. I took a picture of the moon every 30 minutes and continued working on the composite. When we reached the summit at 11:12 pm, I finished the filming and gave the picture the final touch.
Did you have any idea how the composite should look before shooting?
Yes, I have looked at many other lunar eclipse compositions as inspiration.
What artistic freedom did you have in creating the compelling image?
I took far more artistic freedom that I have ever had on a picture published by me. I increased the moon by 75% to get a really dramatic effect. I have also used a background with many stars because it really gets dark during a lunar eclipse. I also made the whole event much deeper than it was. The first moon is in the right place, but after that the sky was much higher.
What kind of equipment do you use when taking photographs at night?
I mostly do Milky Way images, so I usually use a Canon 6D with a 16-35mm lens and an intervalometer. I shoot a lot of time lapse, so that's usually the end product I think about.
Besides photographing the night sky, you are also a storm hunter. How did you get into this photography?
Actually, I got into the night-sky photography when there were no storms. I immediately fell in love with the night shooting. I love the challenges and results of night photography. I attended the Southeast Center for Photographic Studies. I had never bought a DSLR before I signed up for the program.
I knew that I was not interested in a studio and therefore started to shoot a lot of sports photojournalism. I was interested in the weather very early. When I felt comfortable with the camera, I decided to take flash pictures. It took a few tries, but when I got it, I never looked back.
What is your most memorable experience in storm hunts and Is there a photo that best captures you?
There have been so many memorable experiences in recent years. I would say my favorite would be the first tornado I experienced on May 28, 2013 in Bennington, Kansas. It was also the first time I met Savannah, who is now my wife. We watched the storm form out of some small cumulus clouds to become a massive supercell that produced a long-lived EF3 wedge tornado. We were only a few hundred yards from where he was first put on.
They teach many workshops over the course of a year. What can participants expect when they take one?
I am so blessed with what I can do professionally, and thankful to all our guests who spend their hard earned money on one of our workshops. Regardless of the workshop in which they participate, they can expect to learn more about the subject of the workshop than they ever thought possible.
We have guests with a wide range of photographic experiences so everyone can learn something different. Some only get to know their cameras so that they feel comfortable with manual adjustments and can create a better basis for their photography. Others have figured out their cameras so we can focus on some advanced editing processes or help them do all those things on their own.