Lunar Eclipse

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by User5, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. User5

    User5 TPF Noob!

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    As you all know, the lunar eclipse is tonight. (I thought about replying to a thread down the page a bit, but I just made a new one not wanting to bring that off topic) I would just like to see what I can get with my camera. It is a Canon Powershot S2 IS. I don't know a whole lot about taking pics of such things, and I'd just like a little help. I've search a bit but haven't come up with much that would help me using a point and shoot. What settings should I use? Any tips? And yes, I do have a tripod. Thank you lots!

    P.S. I have an old Canon film SLR that I could take a few with too if it's worth it. It's a T50. (I would of course need help with this too) Again thanks for your reply(s)!
     
  2. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Just use a tripod and see what you can muster.
     
  3. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you are an east coast US resident, the moon will rise partially eclipsed.

    You'll need a reasonably clear view of the eastern horizon. The sunlit portion of the moon will require an exposure about a stop more than normal sun-lit landscapes. The dark portion of the moon will not register, nor will the landscape.

    A fully eclipsed moon is very, very dim. It is lit only by light from the sun reflected from the earth to the moon. A photograph of it usually requires a telescope fitted with a drive.
     
  4. astrostu

    astrostu Guest

    This is not true. First, the moon is lit (during a total eclipse) by light that is refracted through Earth's atmosphere. That is why it is so red -- the atmosphere filters out shorter (bluer) wavelengths of light, allowing only the longer (redder) ones through. Since Earth is completely blocking the moon's view of the sun, it is impossible for "light from the sun reflected from earth" to pass onto the moon.

    Also, it is not correct that you need a telescope with a clock drive to photograph a total lunar eclipse. You will need to use a longer exposure time, yes, but only a few seconds. And if you bump up the ISO, it'll be shorter.

    Unfortunately, I have not shot a lunar ecplise with a "good" camera yet. The last one I did was in 2003 with my PowerShot S30 on its full 3x optical zoom. Exposure time ranged from 1/250 sec to 8 seconds depending upon what phase of eclipse the moon was in.

    So use a tripod and experiment with varioud settings. Remember to adjust throughout the eclipse, since the amount of light reflected by the moon will change drastically.
     
  5. User5

    User5 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks much for all of your replies! Yes, I live in Maine so I'm on the east coast, and as soon as it clears the trees I have a wonderful view. I'll just fool around and see what I can get. I wish everybody luck seeking the eclipse tonight. :wink:

    EDIT: Weather.com says it's supposed to be cloudy tonight. :-\ But certainly I'll keep my eye open anyways.
     
  6. jonas

    jonas TPF Noob!

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    I live on the northwest coast of ireland...The moon is beautiful tonight. I was out surfing earlier and looked to my right and the moon was this gorgeous creamy orange color..alas i dont have a waterproof camera, but the way it was reflecting off the water. Weve got the eclipse some time after 9PM which is less than an hour away....
     
  7. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    I'm near Glasgow and the moon is VERY clear tonight.
    I'm going out to a more rural area to try and get some decent shots.
    I have a "good" camera - a 5D and planning on using my Canon 70-200 f2.8 L lens so i should get something worth posting later on.

    fingers crossed that the clouds don't roll in!!!
     
  8. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    not clear at all over here :(
     
  9. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    Looks like it'll be clear all night here - not a cloud to be seen anywhere! :)

    I've never shot the moon before but i guess i just set the tripod up, low ISO and select an aperture and let the camera do the rest?
    I believe F11 is what i want but i also know that i don't want any long exposures. Long means approaching a minute.
    Several seconds is fine.

    Any thoughts on settings anyone?
     
  10. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    spot meter on the moon, else the image will become too bright and the moon will be overexposed.

    use a tripod and the longest lens you have.. and use mirror lockup and a remote or cable or timer ;)
     
  11. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    Cheers Alex

    I'm off out to try a few shots.
    might be tomorrow before i can post any though.

    wish me luck!!
    :)
     
  12. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Astrostu;

    Thanks for the correction. My mind was fuzzy and I was thinking about a normal [not eclipse] situation in which the moon is just starting or ending a cycle - the phenomenon known as 'the old moon in the new moon's arms' -- when the unlit portion of the moon can be seen.

    My comments on exposure were also informed by that lapse.
     

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