Making the most out of a Partial Lunar Eclipse!

February 09, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Get lucky with clear winter skies, wear lots of layers for 36° temperatures (yes, this is Florida), set up at 4 AM with a dramatic foreground (like the Jacksonville Skyline) for a 7:15 AM Moonset.  Have a big vision, pay attention to details, get a shooting buddy for motivation, and a thermos of hot coffee.

I started preparing for this shoot about 6 months ahead with the photographer’s ephemerals researching full moon shooting locations around Jacksonville. This Included getting permissions to be on-site at various locations, figuring out camera settings for creating a time-lapse from the middle of night thru sunrise. And finding the exact spots to place the tripods for getting the city in the foreground and a setting full moon going into eclipse at sunrise. My setup included one camera to record the night to day transition (the time-lapse), a second camera with a large telephoto lens for abstracts, and a third camera for landscape compositions.

But this wasn’t all 1/31/18 had to offer.  An hour drive to the south 12 hours later, a sunset then a moonrise behind a lighthouse happens if you're at the right spot. My last photographs taken were 25 minutes after sunset at the River House in St. Augustine Florida.  A fitting end to a long and rewarding day.

A practice shot (one of many) evaluating shutter speed and sharpness took a few days before.

 

Setting for the camera doing time-lapse:

D850 / 80-400mm @ 165 mm 

  • Metering Method = highlight-weighted
  • Aperture Priority = f/7.1
  • Shutter ranged from 3.0 to 1/100 (3.0 was prior to moon dropping into the frame, 1/100 at sunrise)
  • Auto ISO sensitivity control =on
  • Maximum sensitivity = 800
  • ISO sensitivity = Lo 1
  • Turn VR off
  • In the playback menu, set Image review = Off (to reduce the drain on the battery)
  • Manual focus
  • Close viewfinder eyepiece shutter to prevent light entering viewfinder 

Interval of 5”

Intervals x shots/interval = 1800

LRTimelapse and Lightroom used for time-lapse post-processing.


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