Thursday, April 17, 2014

Not Another Moon Post??!!

Yup, sorry, another moon post. There will be a lot of these this week! With the lunar eclipse and the so-called "blood moon", who can resist? However, I failed miserably at capturing it with my camera. Here was my plan: Set up the camera, tripod and 400mm lens on a timer just before the scheduled lunar eclipse and take a series of shots. I figured setting the timer for every 30 minutes would give me a series of 6 or 8 good moon shots as the moon moved across the sky and the eclipse did its thing. I set things up around 11:30 PM in my back yard, made sure the moon was in the far lower left of my viewfinder (knowing the moon would be moving up and to the right), set the timer, and went off to bed.

Two really big flaws with this plan (can you guess what they are?). 1] The moon moves quickly, and in 30 minutes, it was totally out of the field of view. All of my photos were black frames! It moved up and to the right... but at a much faster rate than I realized!! 2] The lunar eclipse was really significant with regard to blocking out the moonlight (it's with difficulty I admit this didn't cross my mind ahead of time!). The exposure changed so dramatically that, even if the moon had stayed in my viewfinder, it would have been much to dim to register. Live and learn, right? 

What to do? Try it again! The next night (4/15/2014) was a full moon with a moonrise scheduled for about 8 PM. No eclipse, so exposure won't change. Instead of 30 minute intervals between shots (which was way too long), let's try 5 minutes. Here's a shot with the 400mm lens and cropped to make it look really big. What a beauty!
OK, that's more like it. Shooting at 5 minute intervals with a 200mm lens, I was able to capture about 7.5 moon shots before it disappeared off my viewfinder. 
Thanks for stopping by, and hope you enjoyed my trial and error moon series. Linking with Skywatch Friday. Click on the link to check out great skies (and some excellent blood moon shots) from around the world!

42 comments:

  1. A great job indeed! I never get tired of looking at the moon -- or photos of it!! Thanks for sharing! Have a great weekend!!

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  2. Wel at least you had a plan and ;earn something. The eclipse happened here as the moon rose around 6pm, perfect for seeing in real life - and it was a clear sky - I really enjoyed it.

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  3. Truly wonderful!
    You got good frames.

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  4. I really like that last composite of moons!

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  5. I have to admit I've given up trying to photograph the moon

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  6. Awesome moon shots!
    www.womenandperspectives.com/2014/04/sky-watch-sky-around-pole.html

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  7. Well done, awesome moon shots. Sorry you missed the eclipse..Have a happy weekend!

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  8. Nice post with beautif shots of the moon. This is the only way to find out how fast we are all movind in space, I think.
    Thanks for sharing and enjoy your weekend!

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  9. Awesome images...I never tire of moon photos!!!

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  10. You live, you learn, and you got some great shots.

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  11. I really have to try photographing the moon one of these evenings. Nice set of images. And yes, trial and error are often the best instructors. Nicely done.

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  12. I too, missed the 'blood' moon and I am enjoying seeing all the photos posted of it. I am wagering that you will have some amazing photos of it in October.

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  13. Great shots! But like you, I think and there are a lot of sad photographic stories around - my tries weren't too good either.

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  14. Okay Pete this is fantastic! Live, learn and rock the next series of shots. Well done!

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  15. You can share your trials (which don't look like errors at all) anytime! Beautiful. I couldn't even begin to try to get up for the eclipse (Eastern time here)...so I am enjoying everybody's photos. Can't be too many.

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  16. Excellent moon shots, really! I didn't even attempt it because I knew they would be mediocre and the weather called for rain. Wasn't about to get up at that hour just to find out it was raining. Anyway, I think these are stellar images. :)

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  17. These are great! I love the composite image to show the movement. :)
    I too had difficulty with the Lunar eclipse. I hadn't thought about how low the light would be, so planned to use my usual settings. Then when my first shot was black, I played with exposure rather than bumping up the ISO and staying on a fast shutter speed... the result was great looking shots with regard to capturing the blood read BUT blurred images due to shooting around 2.5 sec! Ah well, there is always October to give it another try and to research a bit.

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  18. I'm sorry your original plan didn't work out, but you did a great job with Plan B. I really like the multiple-moon image. We were completely overcast on the night of the eclipse, so we didn't see a thing.

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  19. Really great photos! Thank you for sharing how you took them.
    //Scaniatjejen
    http://www.scaniatjejen.se

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  20. Even without the eclipse, those are great moon shots.

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  21. I would never get tired of your moon shots, they are spectacular!

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  22. Nice - is the final shot blended - or did you take multiple exposures in the same file?

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. Hi Stewart. Thanks for your comment! I guess you would call it blended... multiple photos (files), but the camera never moved off the tripod and the settings never changes. I just layered each photo over the previous shot. Kind of cool how it shows the moon's trajectory across the sky.

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  23. Lovely details in the first one! Great job.

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  24. lol, tell em about it. I was stargazing when I was younger and always struggled with that issue. :) But there will be more eclipses with better results I hope. :)

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  25. Persistence pays off with great results. We lost the moon behind late arriving fog. Grrr.

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  26. This are incredible shots! Love'em.

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