In just a few short days, Earth will fully consume the distant Moon with its shadow. More specifically, on January 31st, a large part of the world will be witness to a rare Supermoon Lunar Eclipse. Even better, it will be a blue moon total eclipse; the first since the Civil War.
Put simply, a “blue moon” is the far more poetic name for the second full moon in a single calendar month. We had our first full moon on the first of the year, so call this second one blue, and know it’s super. Oh, it’s a supermoon, too, huh? Well, since it will be a full moon while it’s at its approximate closest distance to the earth of its orbit, then yes, it’s pretty dang super. 

The eclipse will last nearly 3.5 hours, which is almost exactly half the length of Bonnie Tyler’s smash hit, “Total Eclipse of the Heart” (the album version, not the single). Coincidence? Not likely. In fact, we suggest either blasting the song from your Spotify, Pandora or Apple Music, or pulling out mom’s old vinyl (the record, of course) and turning it to 11. Lore dictates that you can’t really see an eclipse if you cannot hear it, too.

The beginning of the partial phase kicks off at approximately 3:48 a.m. PT and will conclude at around 7:12 a.m. PT, according to folks in the star-watchin’ industry. Totality is said to last a generous 77 minutes, from 4:51 a.m. PT to 6:08 a.m. PT. Thanks, Moon…or Earth? Or Sun, maybe? Whatever; here’s to natural wonders. Now, let’s get that shot.

Since light will be minimal (ya know, since it’s an eclipse and all), you would need high ISO and long exposure to capture the scene and the landscape, be it with GoPro Fusion or your HERO camera. For Settings and Tips, we checked in with GoPro Engineering Tools Specialist and resident night photo expert Shreenivasan Manievannan. His guiedance is below.

Camera Settings
Mode: Night Lapse Photo
ISO 400
Shutter Speed - 30s
Interval: Auto
RAW Photo for HERO6

Fusion Tips

  • Fusion captures all, so find a place with a good 360 view and interesting landscape (be it buildings, mountains, lakes, beaches, or rocky formations).
  • Set up your camera to shoot Night Lapse Photo.
  • Download it to Fusion Studio and export it as a 6K time lapse video or individual photos to edit and combine it as a video or a composite photo.
  • Use OverCapture to frame your favorite perspective and composition.
  • If you have a newer Apple Device (iPhone7 or newer w/ iOS11), use Mobile OverCapture to instantly compose an amazing image.
  • Learn more about OverCapture and Fusion Basics    
  •  *You may want to connect it to power source if shooting the complete 3+ hour eclipse.

HERO5 x HERO6 Tips

  • Use the same settings as the Fusion but in RAW photo. This will give you an amazing dynamic range to post process to extract finer details from the photos. Compile it to form a time lapse video. Please see below for more pro tips:
  • Using the HERO camera’s wide-angle equivalent of about 15mm, compose your shot either toward or away from the moon.
  • Toward the moon will capture the light fading with the moon moving across the sky and turning red during totality and then again brightening.
  • Away from the moon will capture the landscape well-lit to being completely       dark as the shadow engulfs the moon and then back to being well lit.
  • Make sure the lens is clean, free of any greasy streaks or oil, so that it doesn’t produce unwanted flaring when shooting towards the bright moon.

Good luck and Happy Eclipse!