Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse

December 22, 2010 at 12:59 am (Photography)

Last night (well, early this morning), most people in North and South America were treated to a full Lunar Eclipse. This one was particularly unique as it also fell on the Winter Solstice. Before I went to bed last night, I got out my tripod, and got my camera ready to go with its 600mm lens (really a 300mm lens with a 2x teleconverter). I also laid out a heavy sweatshirt, hat, gloves and a chair so when my alarm went off at 2:40, I could be ready to go!

I set up my camera on our upstairs deck, and proceeded to spend the next hour outside (and running back inside to warm up—it was COLD and windy out there!) photographing the moon. It was no easy task, and unfortunately, the pictures aren’t as clear as I had hoped. Because the Earth is blocking the Sun from the Moon, the Moon appears to be a very dark red. Normally, I can get by on a 2.5 second exposure while photographing a full Moon, but because of the color, I needed at least a 10 second exposure to get it bright enough—problem is, at 600mm, you can literally see the Moon moving, which causes blur. I had to up the ISO to 1600, just so I could lower the shutter speed to around 5 seconds.

After this wordy post (sorry!), here are some of the decent pictures:

f/5.6, 6sec, 300mm
Lunar Eclipse 12.21.10 (13)

f/5.6, 6sec, 600mm
Lunar Eclipse 12.21.10 (15)

f/5.6, 6sec, 600mm
Lunar Eclipse 12.21.10 (9)

f/5.6, 6sec, 600mm
Lunar Eclipse 12.21.10 (14)


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