End of the Eclipse

End of the Eclipse (3933+3936)
(Click on the photo for added detail.)

Today’s post is for those who still haven’t had enough of the recent lunar eclipse. I set an early alarm that day to try to catch the eclipse during totality. Sadly, that night was overcast most of the time, and by the time I was having my coffee I had almost given up on seeing anything. Thankfully, later the clouds parted and we managed to see the eclipsed moon and starry sky.

My original plan was to shoot a composite similar to what I had done for the solar eclipse earlier this year. With the clouds the way they were, I knew this would not work out, so I didn’t bother, and instead prepared for telephoto shots. I also had a small camera set up to take a timelapse, and perhaps eventually I’ll edit that as a short video. I had done my homework, and knew the eclipse was ending with the moon still rather high in the sky. Which meant that it was difficult to set up any telephoto shots with interesting foreground objects. So I did what I could, and what you see is one of the results.

This is a composite of two shots, one exposed for the moon, and one for the foreground. You can see that we have significant light pollution on this little island, and bear in mind this is around 04:30. I have no idea why the churches etc are still floodlit at this time when most everyone is asleep. And let’s just say nothing about the obscene amount of light on Mdina in the distance.

I also had a better vertical composition during totality, but unfortunately that has to sit in the ‘almost got it’ file. I used the 50mm prime for that shot, which meant I could shoot with a wider aperture. Unfortunately I didn’t take into account that even though the moon was in focus, the depth of field was shallow enough that the church in the vicinity was blurred. You wouldn’t notice on a small scale reproduction, but at actual size it’s very annoying. Shows that I’m just not used to doing landscapes at night, where a wide aperture is often necessary. And teaches me to set focus using a magnified live view, now that I can.


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