Bloodmoon (Total Lunar Eclipse) in the Sky of Köln
Today I woke up at 3:30 am (after sleeping for… hmm… maybe 3 hours) took the bicycle and drove to the next bridge in Köln-Rodenkirchen. I decided not to go to the cathedral because of two reasons:
Nr. 1: Too cliché.
Nr. 2: Too far away.
It was so fucking cold (as always), but after 5 minutes on the bike I got used to it.
There was nobody on the streets. Nobody. That’s one of the beautiful things of waking up so early in the morning.
As I left home, the eclipse has already started. The moon was still white.
I arrived at the bridge, mounted the camera on the tripod, and I broke it. Yes, I directly fucking broke my tripod. I was not able to regulate the height of it. I just could pull out the legs. Fuck that, whatever. I had to shoot from a low perspective. Somehow it was also okay.
The bridge seemed to be pretty boring till the moment I saw the diffuse color of the car’s lights coming through the bridge’s windows. I decided to use that as an element for composing the photos.
Problems? Yes, a lot.
Nr. 1: My mistake was that I was on a bridge. That’s a very stupid decision. Bridges are stable, as long as cars don’t drive over it. But, cars do. It makes completely no sense to use a tripod if you are staying on a shaky ground. I moved back, to the beginning of the bridge. That worked pretty good.
Nr. 2: Holy focus. If you didn’t pre-focus your lenses before the sky is dark, your are completely fucked. It’s hard and almost impossible to get really sharp images if you have to focus manually. Even if you are using the Live View and zooming in. Nevertheless I guess I had good luck ‘cause (some of) the images seem to be sharp.
Nr. 3: My instant coffee tasted like shit.
After making few shots from different angles and with different lenses I decided to stop and observe that beautiful moon. Yes, the color was just incredible.
The next time will be in 2033. Hopefully, I’ll have a new tripod then. And better coffee.
As I left home the eclipse has already started. That motivated me to jump on the bike and start driving as fast as I could. I could really feel the adrenaline, mixed up with few tears. Yes, I am a human being, I do also have emotions. On every corner, I looked to the left, observing how the moon was slowly being covered with the shadow of our planet.
I was standing on the bridge, setting up the camera for shooting. And the color of the moon started to change. I was alone there, and I started to laugh. I don’t even know why actually, but I just started to laugh. It was an incredible experience, which is of course very hard to describe with words. And photographs… Come on… Are just photographs.
I started to think about how beautiful life on earth is and asking myself why are the streets not full with people observing this beautiful event. I know, not everybody is interested in this kind of things.
The moon was around 356.000 km away from our planet, and that is (talking about cosmos) almost nothing. But still these distances are so big for us humans. Planets and galaxies are so huge for us, we can’t even imagine their dimensions. And here we are, all together, sharing this “small” planet we call home, rotating around our sun. Rotating inside of the milky way. Going where? Who knows.
Once Carl Sagan said
The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.
That’s all we are. Star-Stuff. Pretty cool, right? We have a cosmos inside of us, and at the same time we are part of this bigger thing we call universe or cosmos.
And here we are. Sharing this planet, rotating around the sun. Going everywhere. Going nowhere.
When was the last time you stopped while walking, and looked up at the sky? When was the last time you asked yourself why our sky is blue? When was the last time you sat on the grass during night and started to count stars? When was the last time you thought about our existence on earth?
Did you realise how small we and our problems are? We might be bigger as other animals, insects, etc. And we might think about ourselves as intelligent animals. But how intelligent are we actually? Society changed a lot, not only in the last years but also thousand of years ago. Religion, politics, social system, educational system… All things that altered who we actually are. I am not criticising all the systems of the world, because yes, we do need some order to live together, etc. But all these things changed us, changed our human race.
That’s why I always like to ask a lot of things before doing anything. That’s why I don’t just believe what people tell, or believe. I always like to think deeper about everything. And you should as well. Don’t just accept things as they are just because we are supposed to. Because we are not supposed to at all!
We are able to change the systems so that they fit our philosophy of life. Yes, we can. It does not mean that we have to completely change the systems themselves but that we can change the way we deal with them. Not only we can, I think we also should!
Take a look around yourself when you are traveling by train or bus. Observe the people around you. Count them and count how many of them are busy on their smartphones. The result will not be a surprise at all: almost most of them. Nowadays we are being bombed with information, photos, tweets, likes, news, snaps, and I don’t know what the hell else. Of course, it’s a great thing to have all that power in such a small device like a smartphone.
But what happens if we don’t control how much information reaches us? We will end up not answering the questions I wrote earlier. Not even asking ourselves that questions. Because we are distracted the whole time and we don’t find time for our questions, for the things that really matter. We are not connected to the real world anymore. We live in this fucking virtual world of likes, shares, tweets, followers, comments and fucking ratings.
And if you don’t stop that, you will end up like this:
Or like this:
And I don’t think you want that. So, next time you should either turn off your phone, or just don’t look at it. Control how much information reaches you. Try to be more connected to the real world. And ask yourself questions about life. Ask yourself about philosophy, about our existence, about happiness, and about all that topics that are interesting for you. Go out and enjoy your life on this planet because
One day baby, we’ll be old
Oh baby, we’ll be old
And think of all the stories that we could have told
How was the “blood moon” experience in your city? Show your photos!!
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Thanks to Erasmus Student Network Köln for sharing yesterday the news about the bloodmoon event. Also thanks to Marcos Angeloni, an amazing Argentinian photographer also based in Köln, whose Bloodmoon post encouraged me to think even more about the philosophy of this event!