Liveblogging the Eclipse

Update, Dec. 22, 2010: Results!

This is 12 images shot at approximately 3 minute intervals, though obviously I wasn’t 100% consistent. I stacked them in this composite exactly as the fell in the frame. I may play with moving them a little to improve the regularity, and I might also consider reshooting the starry sky to give it a little background (didn’t think of it the other night). Those changes would definitely be more manipulative than I’d be comfortable with for most images, but this is hardly strict documentary photography.

Final Update, 2:40 am: Well, here’s something. The web version makes this look sharper than it is. Tonight’s photography won’t win me any awards, but it’s been fun, and good practice for another time.

11:58 pm MTN: It’s happening, just as astronomy says it will!

12:01 am MTN: It’s darker now! Most boringly predictable live-blog ever? We report, you decide!

12:06 am: Yeah, it’s not as brainless as just setting up the tripod and clicking the remote every five minutes. This sucker keeps getting darker, see, so I’ve been increasing the shutter speed about one to one-and-a-third stop every five. Also, the moon moves more than you’d think in five minutes.

12:17 am: I’m really glad I’m just screwing around and not photographing this for money or anything. A stop every five might have been was too much; thank God for digital chimping! And there’s something really counter-intuitive about the moon’s trajectory, hard to keep it in frame. But it’s nice to be able to shoot a sequence and then adjust, and know I can make another go when it starts getting lighter again. I’ll be all over this in 2014!

12:35 am: Almost gone! There was some high haze here earlier (I think we’re just south of the cloud bank covering much of the West), but it burned off nicely.

12:43: Dark and red now. Boring and predictable? Pretend you’re an Aztec for a while and get back to me.

12:50: Just as glad I didn’t drive out to the middle of nowhere. It’s too close to the zenith to consider a wide-angle shot with landscape features, as bitchen as an eclipse sequence over Cabezon Peak might be. But for telephoto work, the view is fine from town, and I can polish off the beer.

12:54: Alright, at 200mm on FX, I think about a 3 minute interval should be good for a composite sequence. I’m going to try it as it starts coming out of full eclipse, starting about 1:40 or so (schedule here).

1:08: Is it just me, or is this eclipse long in duration? Over an hour of total eclipse: I feel like the others I’ve seen have gone by a little quicker than that. But memory isn’t always reliable, and I may be thinking of partials.

1:57: It’s coming back! I was about to go sacrifice one of the chickens.

2:05: This sequence will be the best yet! Don’t expect much though.

2:28: It’s back to being a half moon now. I let it cross the frame in my last sequence, and the good photography’s about done for the night. I’ll upload one photo then go to bed. No fancy composite attempts till morning!


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