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Moon Eclipse

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Blood Moon

Taken on 4/15/14 at 1:16 AM. in the morning

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Larry Schaibley's signature
Blood Moon
   This is a cropped image. It was taken using a 1 sec exposure. Any longer and the moon would become blurred because of it's movement across the night sky. This was the last photo we took.
   The longer the exposure, the worse the blur would have been. Instead we opted for a higher ISO setting of ISO-800. How did the rest of the shoot go? No good. We'll explain so you don't make the same mistakes. More on Moon Photography can be found HERE
Moon Eclipse

Interval Timing

Using an Intervalometer

   The first twelve shots shown here on the left were shot using a 1 minute interval. You're camera may have this ability or you can buy a electronic remote shutter release with an Intervalometer built in. They start around $40. Our camera, the Pentax K-500, has this built into the camera. Sounds like you could just set it up and let it run and get the whole eclipse and the Blood Moon in one 2 hour (120 minute) long shoot without doing anything but setting up the camera in the beginning and let it rip, right? No way!
   These were all shot at f/5.6  --  1/200 sec.  -  ISO-100 and they are passable for this purpose. But look at the second half of the moon shots. What do you see? The images are getting darker because of a lack of light, they are loosing their detail even more. When the moon was in total eclipse the photos were black! Wrong camera settings for this dark an image. So you'll have to stop the interval timing and reset the camera. This becomes problematic because you don't know what settings to use, so you have to keep trying and in the mean time you're missing the progression.
Blood Moon
Blood Moon
Blood Moon
   So what's the answer? Here's a small example of what we tried. The top one was ISO 6400, 1/40 sec. and the middle one was ISO 25600, 1/40 sec, and the bottom one was ISO 800, 1 sec. all with f/5.6 aperture. The really high ISO shot was too noisy and so was the ISO-6400 shot. The one at the bottom was the only one that looked half decent.  This worked for the Blood Moon shots but wouldn't have worked for the progressive shot above. So it's your choice. But our recommendation is to only shoot a very short series of images with the Blood Moon in the middle. You'll find that a lot of the better examples  on the Internet were done that way. This whole progression lasted over 3 hours so take your time and only shoot one every 10 minutes? It'll give you time practice and get the setting right between shots.
  Don't give up on this. The next three Blood Moons will be on Oct. 8th and April 4th and Sept. 28th  2015. So you'll probably get a chance to try again.

April 14th and 15th, 2014

  There are two other bright objects in the top photo. One is Mars and the other was Saturn. This was worth seeing, hopefully you didn't miss this. 

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