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Shooting the Supermoon Eclipse

I spent about two hours shooting the supermoon eclipse of September 2015 until the clouds rolled in right at the mid-point of totality. The above shot was taken about 15 minutes into the eclipse. Right place, right time.

Composite of several shots taken over 80 minutes.
Composite of several shots taken over 80 minutes.
I giggled with glee the moment I snapped this one.
I giggled with glee the moment I snapped this one.

Exposure for most of the photos was 1/800 at f/8.0 and ISO 200. That surprised me — a full Moon is amazingly bright. The red moon was much harder to capture clearly. It was about 0.3 sec at f/5.6 and ISO 1600. Not ideal, but without a way for the camera to track the Moon as it drifts across the sky, its the best I could do. As a result, the red Moon is a bit grainy.

I was shooting with my Pentax K-3, a Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, and Manfrotto tripod with a grip action ball head. Next eclipse, I’m definitely renting a bigger lens and getting the Pentax Astrotracer GPS unit.

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