Wow – What a Response

The title says it all.  The response to my lunar eclipse photos took me by surprise, with thousands of hits and hundreds of comments and questions.  I am still reading my way through and, to be sure, I appreciate each and every one of them.  In my haste, I have accepted and posted many of the responses but I promise that I am reading my way through and will answer questions as quickly as time (and holiday commitments) allows!

Unfortuantely, I did give an inaccurate response to some questions, mostly because my camera equipment is new (well, new to me) and I didn’t take time to confirm my answers.  So, for everyone who asked for technical data behind the shots, here goes.

I took the lunar eclipse photos with a Canon Rebel Xsi and Canon 100-400 mm lens.  I had the camera mounted on a tripod, equipped with a cable release, set to ISO 1600, the lens f-stop at f/5.6, and exposed the images for about 1.3 seconds (with lots of bracketing).  Focusing was an enormous challenge, as the moon was very dark and about the size of a pencil eraser in my camera’s viewfinder.  So I used an old trick, learned during my amateur astronomer days, of glancing through the corner of my eye (to get the brightest view) and looking for sharpness between the brighter and darker areas.  A few shots came out great; many did not.  But, overall, I am very happy with the results and enourmously happy that I had fought against my first instinct to shut my alarm and pull the blankets  back over my head. 

A couple bloggers have asked to use my image for posting on their blogs and you can see them here and here.   Thank you both for taking the time to send a request and the patience in waiting for my response.  For others, if you linked to my blog page, please let me know and I’ll check out your blog.  And if you want to use the image on your blog, please send me a request describing your idea and we’ll talk it through. 

Responses to the photos have come from across the USA and around the world, from people who saw the eclipse, who were clouded out, or who were located on the daytime side of the planet at the time of the event.  It is thrilling to read responses, knowing that so many of you live in places that I could only hope to visit some day.  I do have the great fortune of traveling to South Africa soon, so one blogger’s comments caught my eye.  Slowvelder, I promise that I’ll drop by your game reserve if I am anywhere near Hoedspruit during my trip.

Once again, to all my “old” and “new” blogging friends, thank you!  This has been an incredible experience for me, one that I won’t soon (or ever) forget.


2010 Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse


As promised, here is a photo taken mid-eclipse, or about 3:15 AM eastern standard time (USA).  The moon had a very nice, orange-red glow.

Nearing the edge of Earth's shadow

Another photo taken about 25 minutes later, as the Moon approached the edge of Earth’s shadow.

Theme 43 – Celestial Bodies

Moon ove Allaire State Park
Moon over Allaire State Park

Once again, I am slowly getting caught up on all the wonderful photos on the 365 blogs.  If I haven’t commented on your photos lately, please be patient. I’ve just discovered Google Reader and with it’s help,  I’m working my way through everyones blog!  I’m sitting here covered in spackle dust and fresh paint, waiting for the latest coat to dry.  Almost done…a little touch up and that’s it!  Yesterday, with temperatures in the 70’s,  the weather was too lovely stay indoors and paint, so I headed over to a local park for some hiking, birding and photography.  Walking through the pines, I noticed the moon was still high and looked great against the blue sky.  I wasn’t sure how the photo would work out, but I’m pretty pleased with the result.  Ahhh…back to painting!