Sunday night, the early hours of Monday morning – a lunar eclipse or super blood moon should take place. I tired to capture a Solar Eclipse earlier in the year, so this afternoon I have researched what I need to know to capture a lunar eclipse … if I remember to get up…
- Zoom Lens
- Shutter release cable – to prevent vibrations
- Flask of coffee and some warm clothes.
- A dark location, clear skies with a interesting view
My research online included a number of articles:
- How to photograph the blood moon
- Super Moon – lunar eclipse – this includes some great videos
- The timings of the eclipse – details from Focus on Astronomy – I am in BST which means that I have to add an hour to the GMT timings.
I started taking photos where the Moon entered Penumbra at 1.15am and set my camera up to take a photo every two minutes and then merged them in Star Stax.
I was amazed how far the moon moved in two minutes – but it did not move enough … my moon’s overlapped. and in 15 photos – 30 minutes the moon had traveled completely across my frame. I amended the settings to 3 minute intervals and took a test shot.
The eclipse had started 2.15am onwards – the eclipse has started and I have something to share….
As the eclispe started to happen the sky got dramatically darker – I had to increase the ISO, widen the aperture, lengthen the shutter speed – just to get the shot … and the 3 minute gaps were too far apart… I switched to 20 secs …
I struggled to capture the orange glow – viewable by eye but not my camera … and then I did it – it is a bit noisy and fully zoomed it on my Sigma 150-500mm lens – but I am pleased with it!
It is amazing how quickly the moon moves across the sky – these were taken about 1min 20 secs apart during the full eclipse, over Lymington in the New Forest.
I zoomed out so I could capture the eclipse moving across the sky – with ISO6400 – it is grainy… but my F stop was as wide as it could get and my shutter speed as slow as I could risk it. It is amazing how far the moon moves in just 28 minutes. I am delighted with the timing between exposures – as each photo is separate from the one before – I then stacked the images in my editing software.
As the moon begins to leave the Umbra – my battery ran out … and the moon had moved out of frame – so a quick change and to re-position the camera… I am now not sure how long I will be able to track it for, and it is starting to get brighter. I already made the decision to reduce the ISO, but this time I wanted to capture the orange glow – would would mean blowing out the highlights. I photo every 2 minutes 20 secs and wow… this is what I wanted to achieve.
My final combination… these are all edited jpg’s – I had to pause the camera and move it a couple of times and adjust the settings – but this is the iconic shots I have always wanted to capture of an eclipse.
Tomorrow I might look at the raw files and add my best images … but I had an amazing evening – my three teens and my hubby slept through the night and I got to take photos in my p’j’s and share them…. It has been a long night … I got up at 1.30am … and took my last image at 5.35am … if you have enjoyed my images please follow my blog, share my page, click like and I would love to hear your comments below…. and you are welcome to sponsor me too (I am raising money for research into my son’s rare medical condition.)
How was it done – my laptop was tethered to my computer upstairs – saving jpg’s to the hard drive – I was then sync that folder with my main computer to do the edits during the eclipse and so I could alter my settings as I went along. I have never used live tether before … and it works great. Looking at these photos I think I am ready for the next eclipse – 31st January 2018 for me!
And after looking at the raw file (the above were all jpg files) – I think this image sum up why we should should raw.