Interested in trying your luck tonight getting shots of the rare lunar eclipse? For those living in NJ, the weather forecast does not look promising, but just in case it breaks, and you have it in you to pull a late or all-nighter, here are some tips to getting the best images.
- Stable Stable Stable!! Get your camera on a tripod or firm surface to minimize any vibration. Use a cable release if you have one, or set the auto timer on your camera to fire a shoot a few seconds after you let go to minimize vibration. This is most important – doesn’t matter what lens you have or don’t have if you can’t keep your camera still on a good tripod or firm surface.
- Use your longest lens, or zoom out your lens as far as it will go.
- Switch your camera to manual focus and manually focus on the moon. In settings like this your autofocus (AF) feature can be fooled. If you are going to make the effort to stay up and stay warm, mine as well do the little things too!
- Set your camera to Aperture Priority Mode. This will keep the same depth of field (DOF) for all your shots.
- Take a shot and see what you get. Too dark? Try increasing your ISO. Also try a slower shutter speed. Details ‘blown out’ and moon too bright, use a faster shutter speed. Keep in mind the moon is moving, and after a certain length exposure you will invariably see movement which will decrease the sharpness of your shot.
- Play with your exposures. Mr. Eclipse suggests a few startup settings to get you going – you can try these out:
- If you have a consumer level lens – your lens will likely have an aperture of F/3.5-5.6. Zoomed out, it will likely be F/5.6, so try that as your aperture, ISO800 for a 32 second exposure. Alternatively, if you have faster glass, try F/2.8 at ISO800 for 16 seconds. Those should be good starting points and you can adjust your exposure as needed or try some bracketed shots!
Good luck, and let us know how you did. Share your favorite shots on our Facebook page!!
And remember, if it doesn’t work out tonight, you have 3 more chances in the next year and a half as part of this lunar eclipse tetrad! Until the next eclipse, you can follow us on Facebook and Google+