Total Eclipse of the Moon

I hope you were able to see the lunar eclipse last Wednesday. It was quite a show in Central Florida.

I used my Nikon D80 with a 70 – 300 VR zoom on a tripod in the driveway to make these photos.

It was quite cloudy at the beginning, but fortunately turned perfectly clear during totality. This first photo was made early as the earth’s shadow started to move across the moon.

Eclipse photo 1

The three photos posted here are all croped versions of larger files. 300mm is not quite enough lens to get full frame magnification. I had thought about trying to make some photos through my telescope, but I don’t have a camera adapter for it and didn’t want to try to hand hold an exposure. I used the spot meter mode in the camera and bracketed +/- one stop. The one stop underexposure was the best choice (as you might guess), since the meter coverage is a bit larger than the moon was in the sensor. I used both ISO 100 and 400. During totality, ISO 400 helped to reduce the exposure time and improved sharpness. I also played with turning the lens Vibration Reduction on and off , but I couldn’t see any difference in the results – which is good. I’ve noticed that the image stabilization in my Canon G9 will actually make a photo worse if left on when the camera is on a tripod.

The next photo was made during totality.

Eclipse photo 2: Totality

Finally, the last photo was made using a wider angle setting to also capture Saturn (lower left) and Regulus (above), which were especially impressive.

Eclipse photo 2: Totality, wider view

I have posted a few more of my eclipse photos

©2008, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

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