Solstice Lunar Eclipse

Last night/this morning was a full lunar eclipse. I had never seen one before. With such great luck of a)not having to work tomorrow and b)living on the top floor of an apartment building, I stayed up til 3.30am to go see and photograph the eclipse from our rooftop!

My longest lens is the 55-200mm f/4-5.6, and I shot at 4-5 seconds at f/11, and ISO 100. I got some of those numbers from an online article, but it only took me one shot to realize that their recommendation of 1/125 shutter speed made no sense–you need a longer exposure to capture the light, since it’s so faint. I also later went up in ISO to get more of the light. Strange recommendations! The toughest thing, though, was the focus. The camera was pointed up at a steep angle on the tripod, so it was awkward to get in there and try to manually focus (let alone doing the manual switches in the dark!). That same article pointed out the usefulness of live view and that you can zoom in the live view! That lens is pretty crappy, so the focus ring is small and not very exact. However, with the zoom view I got a pretty decent focus. Not nearly as sharp as I’d love, but it will definitely do!

It was mostly eclipsed when we got out there around 2.15.

The sliver of light got smaller and smaller until the moon was mostly red (I read that that’s due to how the light waves bend between here and the moon, so therefore the moon was not actually hidden and it turned coppery) and it seemed to glow off and on. The sliver didn’t quite disappear while I was up there (I went inside between 2.45 and 3), but I peeked later, like 3.15, and it was much fainter and stood out from the sky.

What a cool sight!

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