Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Super Blood Moon

As everyone has no doubt heard and saw, we had a Super Blood Moon a few days ago. The moon was at it's closest point to earth, it was a Blue Moon, and there was a lunar eclipse going on all that the same time. I couldn't resist trying to get a few pictures while watching it with my eldest daughter.

I don't take pictures for a living and certainly don't specialize in night time outdoor pictures so my lens was woefully inadequate. I was constantly trying to tweak it to get a sharp focus but never could quite get there. Part of the problem is that after every picture, I had to stop, pull up the picture, zoom in close and then try and remember which way I had very very minutely adjusted the focus ring the prior time. The above three were about as good as I could get without a larger lens with more fine focus abilities.

While adjusting the focus for perhaps the thousandth time, I happened to snap the shutter while a jet was flying by the moon. As a result, you can see the picture below. The two lines were the wing lights and the two different colored dots in the middle were the different colored strobe lights. It turned out pretty neat if you disregard the out of focus Super Blood Moon in the background.


Vince said...

The trick is to use the auto-focus on a light about 500 ishy yards away, then switch to manual focus and don't touch the focus again. That way you hyperfocal distance, to infinity and beyond :-).
But the truth is about that moon. Even if you had the focal length in the glass you weren't going to get a sharp image. It was too dark, and unless you had one of the new Sony's where the ISO is useful at 12,800 and even 25,600 you will blur the image with the movement of the earth alone, nevermind the muck that's causing the red in the first place.
I thing they're pretty good. And the one with the jet is surreal, in the what the frick is that type of way.

Ed said...

Vince - I've used that technique before but unfortunately where I was at, the lights were too close to be of help. I've never taken a picture of the moon other than a few I took while holding the camera. Of course they always turned out blurry. This time I dug out my tripod and used something that I bought a few months ago but have never used before, a remote trigger. That really helped but I still struggled to get a sharp image. After seeing other pictures of the moon that others took, I guess I was about on par and just didn't know it.

The jet plane was pretty neat and I dearly wished I had better focus of the moon when I took it. When I was just setting up my tripod and remote trigger on the camera, a helicopter from a nearby hospital flew right across the face of the moon and I wished I had been ready to capture that image. Since it was a lot closer to my perspective than the jet plane, it would have been pretty convoluted but it might have turned out neat.

I've always wanted to get one of those full moon pictures where it appears really huge compared to objects within view, like houses, bridges, etc. I need to scout out a location where I can get some distance between me and the object I want to picture with the moon but here in our rolling hills and heavy tree foliage, it is hard until the moon is already too high to do that.

Vince said...

I think you need one of those new 600mm lenses on a crop giving you 900mm. That'll reach out and provide lovely compression.

Ed said...

Vince - I do "need" a new 600mm lense. I'm not sure my wife agrees!

ErinFromIowa said...

I enjoyed these photos! Fuzzy or not. Lol

Kelly said...

I think you did a great job with your moon photos! I'm totally fascinated by the one with the jet, as well. What a fun and interesting bonus shot!

Personally, I was just pleased the clouds cleared enough for a good viewing while things still were in eclipse.

Ed said...

Erin - Thank you!

Kelly - We had clouds all day long but they cleared out by evening allowing a perfect viewing of it.

sage said...

I think you did very well with these shots!

Leigh said...

You got to see it! We had clouds and rain that night and so missed the whole show. Great shots.