Monday, September 28, 2015

Total Lunar Eclipse 2 of 2 posts

Click on image for a larger view.
What a gorgeous night with a stunning moon. I got photos from the beginning of the eclipse to totality before some thin clouds moved in to obscure the view. Now, if only I had known what I was doing, photographically speaking, I would have gotten a better image of the red moon...But, I goofed. (The last time I photographed an eclipse, I used a telescope, so using a camera for the entire process was new for me.)

Of course, mine looks different from the rest of the world's photographers who got clear images of the red moon at the end (versus my noisy images;-) I can't stew about it, and will just try to enjoy what I did capture...

Click on the Image for a larger view.
Here is how I goofed: For this eclipse, I kept the camera in auto focus, instead of taking the first few shots with auto and switching to manual focus (which would have kept it in focus no matter what.) Had I done that, I wouldn't have had so much difficulty as the moon moved across the sky. As it was, I had to keep re-focusing the camera, which became difficult as the moon got darker, and darker, and darker.. Ahhh...the learning curve. I didn't get to practice with the last 3 eclipses as it was cloudy for all of them over the last year. Darn!

Note to Self - Next time:
• Top Dial on Camera to "M" - Manual Exposure Settings mode
• Force exposure compensation down to -2. )This brings out the darker areas of the full moon.)
• Multiple point focus (to get a lock on any part of the moon)
• Take the first few shots with auto focus.
• Switch to manual focus.
• As time goes by, dial down from 1/500 sec. to a longer shutter speed, down to at least 0.25 sec. or more, until seeing the red moon in playback mode. Will this give me less noise as well as increased brightness? I hope so...
• As time goes by, dial up the ISO from 200 to 1600 or more if necessary. (Although, I saw lots of photos with ISO 400-using a slower shutter speed.)

The next lunar eclipses that we will see are going to be few and far between. For Maine, go Time and :

March 23, 2016 - Prenumbral - Begins at 5:39 AM / Maximum at 6:39 AM / Ends at 9:54 AM (Ummm...we won't see it in our neck of the woods.)
***Feb. 11, 2017 - Prenumbral -  Begins at 5:34 PM /  Maximum at 7:34 PM / Ends at 9:53 PM.
Jan. 31, 2018 - Partial - Begins at 5:51 AM / Maximum at 6:52 AM / Ends at 11:08 AM (Ummm...we won't see it in our neck of the woods.)
***Jan. 20/21, 2019 - Total - Begins at 9:36 PM / Maximum at 12:12 AM / Ends at 2:48 AM (Perfect timing as the 21st is Martin Luther King Day and I'll be able to sleep in after a long night;-)