Last night Sue and I had a go at taking a picture of the total lunar eclipse, an event neither of us had seen before. Taking a picture of the moon when it is lit up in the sky is quite a different proposition from taking a picture when it is eclipsed, so this composite picture includes a variety of shutter speeds. In the third moon you can see that the top portion is still lit up directly by the sun while the rest of it gets a lovely sunset red from our atmosphere, but I couldn’t work out a way to see both clearly in one picture.
We very nearly missed it altogether. I only found out about it the day before, and by Saturday I had forgotten all about it again. Luckily a friend reminded us with about half an hour to go before it started!
The particularly challenging thing about taking moon pictures is keeping the camera still enough. Some shots were taken with three-second exposures, and even with a tripod and a remote (infra-red) shutter release switch it was incredibly hard to get sharp photographs. The movement of the shutter causes anything that can do so to vibrate or wobble. I think it didn’t help that the ground surface was slightly uneven, but perhaps I should have weighted the tripod down or something.
Luckily there were five or six fairly sharp images to choose from for the composite picture, but we must have taken at least thirty!
Another curious thing about the eclipse: viewing it through binoculars it was quite hard to see the red tinge, yet with the naked eye it was quite clear. What on Earth (or indeed the moon) could cause that?