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Michael Muramoto Photo Essays

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Full Blood Moon eclipse over the San Francisco Bay

I have to admit, I am certainly not an astrophotographer. I really had no idea how I was going to be able to capture the lunar eclipse with my current camera and lenses. I did know that I would make an effort to get out there to at least see it for myself. So I gathered up my Nikon DSLR and a 70-200mm lens along with my tripod and headed outdoors. It wasn't cold, so I didn't have to wear gloves, but it was very quiet at that late hour.

Once I had gotten the camera setup on the tripod, I did watch the standard eclipse begin. The Moon looked a little hazy since there was cloud cover making it a bit harder to see. It was bright though, so I setup the camera with an ISO of 400 and f/11, with shutter at 1/125. This seemed to work pretty well, but it was a bit dark, so I opened the lens to f/8 and this seemed much better.

After sitting outside for a good hour or so, the Moon was now in the full blood orange color seen in the photograph. Although there was quite a bit of light pollution around (from the neighborhood lights) I still felt that the image did give a good estimation as to what I remember seeing.

At this point the settings had to be lengthened fairly significantly to capture the lower light from the Moon. I now set the camera at ISO 800, f/5.6, and shutter of 1 second to 3 seconds. I really wanted to get a photo of the Moon in it's orange glow along with the pinprick of Mars in the background, but the clouds were being a bit too annoying to let me get the shot.

In any case, it was a fun little adventure, and now I'm more interested in trying to grab some other astro photography when I next have a chance.