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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Des Plaines, IL
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    Lunar Eclipse... the sunrises projected

    On Tuesday (4/15/14) morning... around 2am, CST (<- because I'm not moving), there will be a LUNAR ECLIPSE.

    Just in case there is some confusion, a lunar eclipse and a solar eclipse are two different events and cannot happen at the same time.

    A lunar eclipse is when the Earth blocks the Sun's rays going to the Moon and reflecting off it's surface. Due to the Earth's atmosphere, the sunlight is diffused and filtered... and it is projected onto the surface of the Moon, causing it to have an orange-ish cast.

    A solar eclipse is when the Moon gets between the Sun and the Earth and the moon physically blocks the sunlight going to the Earth. Because the Moon is much smaller than the Earth, the entire shadow moves across causing a definite perceived change in sunlight intensity. It should be stressed that you do not want to directly look at this kind of eclipse with the naked eye, or with sunglasses or directly photograph the sun without substantial light-reduction filtering, on the order of f/96.


    Unfortunately, in Chicago. the weather may not cooperate (rain/snow), at the time of this event, and it is going to be back down around freezing. (C'mon, already! Enough with the photographic challenges!)

    Anyway, I'm breaking out the telescope, again, and will try to capture the shot. The lens, itself, weighs about 12 pounds (5.5 kg) and the camera adds about 2.5 pounds (1.2 kg) more, requiring a substantial tripod. (Remember to tape at the legs joints, to provide a significant point of safety for long term shoots. Also, the use of the gimbal tripod head is also recommended with larger lenses, for ease of movement. Following the Moon is a constant effort. It does not just sit there, looking cute.

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    Throw a little luck my way, will ya? There's only so much camera to throw around.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 04-19-2014 at 08:51 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Feeling the lack of heat...

    Well, froze my tuckus off... for a couple hours. It's 28-degrees Fahrenheit out there... with fresh snow everywhere. The skies cleared just in time. Man, this was no quick solar eclipse event, that's for sure.

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    Had to go to 1/4-sec shutter speed, ISO-1600 to get the later images. The lack of light was amazing. Hard on the camera, because the Moon is ripping across the sky and it will become a blur at any thing longer, if the camera is not panning with the Moon. Remember, the Earth rotates at roughly 1000mph... and the Moon keeps on a truckin' from East to West.

    Quarter-second Exposure Issues

    • When shooting the moon, a 1/4-sec exposure is about the best you can do, with the camera standing still. Again, you only will be at this speed for a lunar eclipse. (Normal Moon settings are SS: 1/320 Aperture: f/8-f/11 ISO: 200)
    • If you do use 1/4 second shutter speed, you cannot use the shutter release button. You will need to use an electronic cable or wireless shutter release of some type, because you cannot touch the camera. It shakes with ANY contact. You must wait for the lens to stop quivering. This is a heavy and LOOOOOONNNNGGGGG lens. If you think that regular old hand-shaking is something, you really need to witness this kind of stuff. Forget using the Super Steady-Shot. Any wind at all and you are in big trouble getting a shot. You will need to be shielded from the wind, too, if there is any.
    • Also, quick-tracking of the Moon gets a whole rougher, as it dims out. Once again, you are adjusting elevation and azimuth the entire time, so it's:

      1) adjust position (as required)
      2) wait for lens to quit quivering...
      3) shutter release (by cable or wireless)
      4) repeat



    When you add up the obstacles to the telescopic-shot, it is like real work.

    I used the SONY a700, to reduce the telescope's vignetting. It is an APS-C format camera, but mine has the added "Cats-Eye" focusing screen, which makes manual-focusing a whole lot simpler. Unfortunately, that made the telescope effectively a 3048mm f/10 lens. A little too much for entire lunar orb observation. I was pleased with the result, but it was still too cold to be much fun.

    Anyway... I hitting the sheets... to warm back up. Brrrr.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 04-15-2014 at 09:52 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,310
    Nice job Don.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Howling bad night

    Thanks. It was cold enough to make you howl!

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    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Derbyshire, UK
    Posts
    2,479
    Excellent sequence Don.
    Oh and a good selfie too
    Around every picture there's a corner & round every corner there's a picture
    - the fun's in finding them

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
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    When it just doesn't fit

    Okay, at 3048mm, the Moon does not fit in the image circle, at this distance (240,000 miles), so I went for the "brighter" side.

    Solution for getting the "bigger picture" is... (drum roll, here) -> panorama. Again, if you're shooting at 1/4-second, with a telescope... forget it. Again, it's lens quiver and quick alignment... just touching the entire rig causes this.

    Here's the two-shot Photo-merge of the Moon from early in the series, when the shutter-speed was up around a shake-manageable 1/250-sec. Astro-photography is a different animal.

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    Last edited by DonSchap; 04-19-2014 at 08:53 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Blood Moon

    After a bit of searching, I was able to find two images that were close enough to one another, in the sequence, to cobble together and portray the...

    "BLOOD MOON"

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    Even Photomerge protested, asking "why bother?"
    Last edited by DonSchap; 04-19-2014 at 10:05 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,310
    Nice work Don. Almost makes me want to get a scope and T-mount adapter. Oh wait, not to use once in a blood moon:-)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
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    To be quite honest, I bought the telescope to monitor for asteroid strikes. You know... just sitting around and waiting for the good lord to hurl us a "fast ball." No more floods, remember?

    Anyway, setup time for this "big ol' boy" is nearly a half-hour. Consider that a really good asteroid impact takes about three to thirty-seconds from locating it and the actual impact. Of course, the resultant fireworks? Well, who knows? You never know what you've got till it is gone, gone, gone, right? Chances of getting one these puppies in the field of view and capturing it would be... tantamount to a miracle.

    I have always wanted to build an observatory, to avoid the setup time for the 'scope, but funds have been a little shy.

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    I also may relocated to the southwest, where it would be a bit more practical by having a lot less light-pollution, to contend with.

    Thanks for comment
    Last edited by DonSchap; 04-20-2014 at 04:53 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
    Posts
    10,421
    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    To be quite honest, I bought the telescope to monitor for asteroid strikes. You know... just sitting around and waiting for the good lord to hurl us a "fast ball." No more floods, remember?
    lol yeah. good thing its a childrens story.
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
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