Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Shooting the Moon {Photos of an Eclipse}

I love the skies.  I love everything about staring at the stars, a sunset, a storm, clouds or the moon.  With ordinary point and shoot cameras I have taken many photos of the sky, but haven't been able to take a photo of the moon that doesn't look like a round, white blob -- even when the moon is low and big enough to eat your face.  Now that I have my first more than point and shoot camera, I could hardly to wait to try it out on last Monday night/Tuesday morning's total lunar eclipse.  I went out to my backyard and took the following photos.

I took this photo within the first few minutes of the penumbral eclipse, just as the earth's penumbra was starting to touch the moon.  You can see the beginning of the pale shadow on the left side.  

I took this photo when the moon was completely covered by the earth's penumbra, before the total eclipse began.  What I like most about this photo is how you can see a large reflection higher in the sky, like a moondog.  Mars is also visible just above and to the right of the moon.  A better camera would have gotten a higher quality photo, but I still quite like this photo.  

I took this photo when the earth's shadow was covering almost half of the moon.  Again, a more expensive camera could have gotten a clearer photo, but I am quite pleased with my little camera that could.  

Unfortunately by the time the moon was totally eclipsed, and "blood red", the cloud cover was so thick that I could not get one decent photo of the moon.  I could barely see with the naked eye a few slivers of red through the thick clouds and fog, which made it extraordinarily difficult to find through a camera viewfinder.  The cold wind was also gusting so hard at this point that I woke up with windburn on my face on Tuesday morning.  

There are better lunar eclipse photos out there for sure, but honestly these are not too shabby for my first time photographing one.  My camera is a Fujifilm FinePix SL280, which is by no means a professional camera, but it's a pretty darn good starter camera for someone who is just beginning to get serious about photography but can't afford a DSLR yet.  I plan to gradually upgrade my cameras when I can afford to do so.  In the meantime, I love my little FinePix.  

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