Reminder: Lunar Eclipse Overnight

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In the early hours of Monday 21st January there will be the last total Lunar Eclipse until May 2021. You’ll have to either stay up late or get up early to witness the “Super Blood Wolf Moon”, the times are shown below;


I’m not sure if I’ll be grabbing some photos yet as I’ve an early start in the morning with a Digital Photography Fundamentals Workshop, but I might sneak a quick snap in the early hours.

More information can be found at Time and Date’s Website.

Here are a couple of photos I took of the last Lunar Eclipse back on 27th July this year.

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Lunar Eclipse July 2018
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Lunar Eclipse 27 July 2018

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I remember the first time I saw a Lunar Eclipse (or at least the first time I remember seeing one!), it was on my first holiday to the Algarve which was over 30 years ago!

Although we had full visibility tonight, I was concerned that because the Eclipse started before Moon rise which was during dusk, the sky might be too bright for photography. However, I got to the top of nearby ridge and waited…..and waited…..and waited. It was a long time after Moon rise that it had risen in the sky enough to be visible here in the hills. Luckily, the sky had darkened a little too, however, not enough for a single shot. So the shot below is a merge of 2 photos taken with different exposures to ensure the moon is bright enough contrasted against the silhouetted ridge.

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Lunar Eclipse July 2018
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Moon: Waning gibbous (82%)

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It was a really clear night here in the Algarve Serra tonight and the Moon detail was clear to the eye, so couldn’t resist the urge to grab the camera with 500mm lens.

The current Moon phase is Waning gibbous. Of course, it was the Blue Moon a few nights back (it was hazy here so didn’t venture) and now the Moon is illumination is getting smaller, this is called Waning. Gibbous means less than a full circle but more than a semi-circle. For close-up shots, I much prefer a non-full moon because the shadows really show up the craters. This is why my Full Moon shots normally have something else of interest in them.

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Moon: Waning gibbous (82%)
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Supermoon from Portugal

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Finally! I’ve managed to pick the camera up since moving to Portugal! It was a rush to get in the right spot (even though it’s in the land next to ours!).

I couldn’t turn down the Supermoon. It’s not the greatest quality shot but considering it was a bit of a rush to set everything up, I’m just happy to have a photo to show.

The photo is made up from 2 separate shots of the scene. One focused and metered on the Moon and the other on the landscape with a remote flash to light the ruin. A camera can’t capture a shot like this in one photo like the human eye can see it, so it’s the only way to capture it. The 2 shots have then been merged in Photoshop.

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Supermoon - {Flickr Link}

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85% Waxing Gibbous

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With just a few days before Full Moon and 85% illuminated, the current phase is Waxing Gibbous which is the phase when there is more than 50% illuminated but not Full.

Not the sharpest Moon shot I’ve got which I can only think could be down to a small amount of haze in the sky.

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85% Waxing Gibbous
85% Waxing Gibbous – {Flickr Link}

Waning Gibbous at 93% Visibility

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As some may know, I have a fascination of the night sky so you can imagine how gutted I was getting up at 3:30am a few nights back to have quite thick fog obstructing the Super Blood Moon Eclipse. Luckily, I could see the red Moon through the fog quite clearly, however, it wasn’t worth pointing the camera at as it couldn’t pick any detail out.

So tonight with the sky totally clear, I thought I’d try out the Nikon TC-20e III 2x Teleconverter on my Nikon 300mm f/2.8 VR II. This Teleconverter takes the lens to a 600mm. Teleconverters are known to loose detail, however, the Nikon ones are known to work very well with the Nikon 300mm f/2.8 lenses and this shot clearly shows that there is still a high amount of quality detail hitting the camera sensor.

This has been cropped in quite tight too. I think the combination of D810, 300mm f/2.8 VR II and TC-20e III is a winner, certainly when it comes to a very bright object like the Moon.

Anyone else think it looks a bit Egg shaped tonight?

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Waning Gibbous (93%)
Egg Moon – D810, AF-S 300mm f/2.8 with TC-20e III @ 500mm, f/11, ISO64, 1/50sec – {Flickr Link}