Photographing the Lunar Eclipse

Lunar Eclipse Collage
I’m always a little behind posting recent stuff to the blog. Wednesday night I went out to watch the lunar eclipse. We had some clouds but they seemed to make way for the moon. I decided to try shooting the eclipse with my digital camera (a Canon EOS 300D). My longest lens is a 100mm macro, so I used that and took some test shots. It’s great to be able to run inside and see how the images turned out while the event was still going on. I found that the 100mm lens is not very good for moon shots; I really should get a longer lens or attach it to a telescope if I try it again. But I made use of what I had. Going back outside, I made some adjustments and photographed the eclipse until it became total. With the brightness constantly changing, I had to vary the shutter speeds to get the proper exposure as the moon got darker. Another great feature of the digital camera is that I wasn’t afraid to take lots of shots, changing the shutter speeds to see what worked best. The only downside was having to winnow the images afterwards…Pixort is great for this. I only got to shoot the first half of the eclipse, so that’s what’s shown here. I took 9 of the better images and made a collage (click to see the larger version). The first five photos exposed for the still-sunlit portion of the moon as the Earth’s shadow started to cover it. For the last four photos I started exposing for the shadow instead of the sunlit part.

It was a fun experiment and hopefully I’ll get even better images the next time a lunar eclipse occurs. There are some even better photos here at SpaceWeather.com.

P.S. The transition back to standard time was unwelcome. Why can’t we just stay on daylight time all year round? No bothering with changing the clocks, and there’s an hour more of daylight to enjoy in the evening.