Impending Eclipse

Thinking about photographing the eclipse on December 20-21? Do some reading, it’s not a simple matter. Check out Photographing a Lunar Eclipse, a very helpful account from Oregon photographer Sean Bagshaw about the making of the making of his stunning composite image Lunar Eclipse Over Mt. Shasta.

For much more, try MrEclipse’s How to Photograph a Lunar Eclipse. A lot of this info will be redundant to photographers with any much experience, but there are very good tables regarding exposure times and fields of view, plus this really helpful tip:

You can estimate the eclipsed Moon’s direction and elevation by checking the Moon’s position one or two nights before the eclipse. Just keep in mind that the Moon will appear in the same location about 50 minutes later each night. This is just a rough guide but it should be good enough for planning purposes. Let’s say it’s two nights before the eclipse and you want to estimate where the eclipsed Moon will be in order to photograph it with some foreground object. If the eclipse begins at 11 PM, the Moon would be in approximately the same part of the sky at 9:20 PM two nights before the eclipse. This kind of exercise is a great help in planning a successful eclipse photo.

It looks like the eclipse coming up will be very high in the sky, which complicates the prospect of getting shots with any significant landscape component. Plus,m the cloud cover looks iffy over much of the West. New Mexico has some potential, but it could be a gamble. I’ll definitely be checking out ClearDarkSky.com on Sunday and Monday.

Frankly, all this has me almost hoping for clouds, so maybe I should just head out to a nice spot and enjoy the darn thing without worrying about photography!

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