Some Lunar Eclipse Composites


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Apr 9, 2009
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Unfortunately, and I don't know how it happened, but every photo I made of the Moon during totality was to out of focus to be used.
There were a lot of people at our observing site and I was very busy helping others with camera settings, pointing my big telescope, and tripping the shutter on my camera that was on my little telescope. Life's a beach sometimes.

The bright part of the moon during the eclipse requires a lot shorter shutter speed than the eclipsed part of the moon does.
The full moon @ f/5 and ISO 200 requires a shutter speed of about 1/500. I used my 6 MP Nikon D50 that many would call totally obsolete and virtually useless.
The eclipsed part of the moon @f/5 and ISO 200 requires a shutter speed ranging from 1 second (") shortly after the umbra eclipse began to 6 seconds (") when the eclipse was total.

I made composite images and the size of the moon in each is the size on a single frame my 400 mm lens (telescope) made it.

In this composite the lower left photo is the Moon in full penumbra eclipse just before the umbra eclipse started. So I made the exposure accurate to how the Moon was dimmed being in the penumbra of Earth's shadow.

During the waxing part of the eclipse I also made exposures that captured the 'blood' coloring of the dark part of the Moon and exposures of the bright part. Doing so over exposed the bright part of the moon.

Approaching total eclipse with the 'blood moon' exposed for.

And lastly the final stages of the umbra eclipse, exposed for the bright light that is still in the penumbra of Earth's shadow.
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Thanks for that explanation. I thought the moon moved too fast to use those shutter speeds, so I kept upping my ISO?
Which ended up pretty high. I had a 55-300 lens at @280 mm....

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