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  1. #1

    Possible photo op this evening

    Total lunar eclipse.. here the low down not another one till 2010!


    "It looks like it's going to be a hard one to spot," Seto said.

    A total lunar eclipse occurs when the full moon passes into Earth's shadow and is blocked from the sun's rays that normally illuminate it. During an eclipse, the sun, Earth and moon line up, leaving a darkened moon visible to observers on the night side of the planet.

    The moon doesn't go black because indirect sunlight still reaches it after passing through the Earth's atmosphere. Since the atmosphere filters out blue light, the indirect light that reaches the moon transforms it into a reddish or orange tinge, depending on how much dust and cloud cover are in the atmosphere at the time.

    Wednesday's total eclipse phase will last nearly an hour. Earth's shadow is expected to blot out the moon beginning around 7 p.m. on the West Coast and 10 p.m. on the East Coast. West Coast skygazers will miss the start of the eclipse because it occurs before the moon rises.

    Unlike solar eclipses which require protective eyewear, lunar eclipses are safe to view with the naked eye.

    Later this year, in August, there will be a total solar eclipse and a partial lunar eclipse."


    When shooting the moon (no not THAT kind of moon!) remember to treat it as a sun lit object, start with 1/60 of second or probably higher as much as 1/250 or more to start and adjust as the surface darkens. Take lots of shots, bracketing as you go, either speed or f-stop. For P&S cameras that have a "programmable" setting but can't adjust f-stop or shutter speeds use the EV +/- with a setting of at least 1/3 EV and go 2 or 3 stops above and below the cameras setting. As the eclipse progresses you will have to adjust down the speed/ or f-stop.

    You can go for a zoomed in or wide angle with some nice background like horizon line at 1/3 lower frame or include some trees framing the moon to one side or the other or both. A building would also work to add interest. Since it will happen in the west early you might be able to get some shots off with the horizon still lit some or anything else you choose to frame the photo still lit with some ambient lighting from the setting sun.

    If you have a tripod use it, it makes making changes to the camera setting easier while maintaining the composition. also makes for a sharper shot as speeds approch 1/60.

    another thing to try is to take some shots of the moon, exposing for that alone, then take some shots of backgrounds without the moon in the shot and paste the moon into it using photoshop or some other editing software. Many have a "magic lasso" type tool and just by right-clicking on the moon the software will create a decent cut because of the high contrast between the moon and the background sky. then take the cut image of the moon and paste it into another shot. With a little trial and effort it can be fairly easy to do and that way each component will be exposed properly. Since the moon is so bright its very hard to expose both background and moon in one shot properly if you want any detail in either.

    Give it a shot if you have some clearing in the clouds and lets see the results. We could then discuss the entries and folks could learn a few tricks to shooting the moon, it can both fun and challenging.

    Last edited by rocketman; 02-20-2008 at 12:56 PM. Reason: Add some addtion info i thought of on the ride in to work

  2. #2
    Even if I'm not very adept at shooting them, I love lunar eclipses. Depending on the clarity of the sky and the potluck of being in the right place at the right time the colors can be stunning. Thanks for the heads up RM (I'm usually on top of this sort of thing, but not this time. ).

    This might make an interesting quasi-assignment for the MOA photographers!
    Ben Ricci

    Rides & Drives: '07 BMW F800ST Low, '07 Porsche Cayman, '06 VW Jetta TDI & '05 BMW R1200ST

  3. #3
    Well the times are good all across the US for this one, but the weather does not look like its going to cooperate, i did complain to NOAA but they said it was out of thier hands!
    it sure doesn't look good for this side of the of US......

  4. #4
    Looks great from NY. Clear skys and about 15 degrees...

    The Nikon's at the office, so I'm having a go with the PAS Sony...

    Get out and have a look if you get the chance. Camera or not!
    Last edited by grossjohann; 02-21-2008 at 03:46 AM.

  5. #5
    Rally Rat torags's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    SF Bay Area
    This was the best I could get before 1/2 hr before the eclipse. Clouds covered about 10 min after shot. Noisy as hell.

  6. #6
    Registered User 37071's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Petrolia ON

    Eclipse Pictures

    This is a tough assignment. I stood outside for an hour taking pictures as the earth shadow covered the moon. It was dark, so I can't see too well, and all the shots I took were out of focus. It is also about -12C but thank goodness there is no wind. I went back out and took more pictures. They are in focus but it looks as if Earth now has two moons?? I am blaming my tripod (POS).
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