Heading to the desert.

Solar eclipse of December 26, 2019.

I was really looking forward to this natural phenomena as I already had the Blood Moon image from a few years ago and knew exactly what I wanted from this one.

This is the final image, let’s break it down.

The Breakdown.

We set off early and met up with some other well known photographers from Dubai. My nephew was excited to go see the vast desert. With all that greenery in Scotland one does want a small change. We climbed a few dunes and took some test shots to see what we could get. The part to get right is getting the foreground right, the right dune. The other challenge is to make sure the tripod does not keep sinking or moving on the dune, as this can happen. It wasn’t a major issue we were not shooting long exposure. My setting were at f/14, SS400 and ISO100 with a ten stop ND Filter by Nisi, just to make that little easier.

This and other images are available to purchase by clicking here.

Post Process.

This was the easy and hard part. I knew what I wanted as a final image and that is what speeds things up. You do not have to think about what to edit and how but this does come with time and experience, you’ll get there.

1 – Selection.

I mainly use abode Bridge to organise and view all my files. Old skool kinda guy. Going through all the images to find the ones that worked was hard. I was shooting a time lapse, which didn’t really work out, at the same time. The timelapse intervals were shorter than the speed of the eclipse. I wanted to make sure I don’t miss anything. It didn’t work out as the tripod moved significantly and this change is noticed in the timelapse so I left it. I selected the images and finally put them into Photoshop for the assembly.

2- Assembly.

Remember I mentioned its easy and hard? This is where it gets tricky. I had to cut out each moon and place it where it needs to be. Small tripod movements due the soft sand create this issue. I create a guide line on a new layer and align the centre of the moon on it. This was all the images of the moons align nicely and straight. I cut out the area that I need and change the mode to lighten. This will hide all the dark areas and shot the light ones, in this case the moon. It was just a matter of doing this until you are happy with the result. For me, 7 movements were enough. You could perhaps do more if you wanted. The first moon and sun image are part of the foreground.

I made a few small teaks and thats it. It was completed in 15 mins approx. But I believe knowing what I wanted from this made it easier. Thats the key lesson here. Be mentally prepared and have a goal.

You can see my layers where I have selected the areas needed and the mode set to ‘Lighten’.


I don’t think my nephew, Harris, will get any pictures better than this anytime soon. I mean, how often do you get to jump in from of a lunar eclipse in the desert.


Under a billion star hotel, it doesn’t get any better than this!


As I mentioned earlier Harris is my nephew who has a keen interest in media. He has the eye for detail and loves learning new things. Harris recently set up his own social media marketing agency with his friend, Empros Media. The aim is to help businesses reach their full potential through targeted marketing and reaching the right audience. A lot has happened since I took this shot, the world has changed and now as many businesses suffer we need to make sure we get the right people to help us through these difficult times. Harris landed from freelance work while in Dubai and has a network of resources and clients and both partners have a great understanding of what is needed to help business in this covid ruined times. They work tirelessly progressing and moving forward, learning new techniques and practising new ideas making sure they work well and adapt to business needs. Harris did my other business logo, which I love. ❤️ —–>

You can see more of their work here.

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