Monday, April 14, 2014

Photographing the "Blood moon" tonight

I am not sure if I will be able to photograph the "blood moon" tonight (since the weather may not cooperate), but I thought I would give some ideas and tips for those of you wanting to shoot this tonight.

Here are my tips for you:

* Use the longest lens that you have. Preferably something in the 300-600mm range.
* Mount your camera on a sturdy tripod.
* Switch your camera to manual focus and focus on the moon.
* If you have live view on your camera, use this to lock the mirror and zoom in to fine focus.
* Set your camera to an ISO of 1600 (depending how dark the moon gets - you might go lower)
* Unless you have very expensive lenses, you will likely have an aperture of f8 (or smaller).
* Set your camera in Aperture Priority and shoot one photo. This will be your starting point for the rest of the shots. Switch to manual mode and keep the same aperture as you had in AV mode. , If the moon was blown out (too bright) in the AV shot, use a faster shutter speed than the camera used in AV mode.  If the moon if too dark, use a slower shutter speed than the camera used in AV mode. You can try different shutter speeds to get the best possible exposure.
* Make sure you have a decent shutter to avoid motion blur. Yes, the earth is spinning and any shutter speed more than a couple of seconds will create a blurry image.
* Have your "blinkies" turned on to show if you are blowing out any part of the photo.
* Use a cable release or the timer mode of the camera to avoid any shaking of the camera from your hand.
* Have fun and share what you get!

I know that it this will happen late tonight (in the U.S.), but hey, any good photo is worth it!


Unknown said...

Great tips as always Jeff. I shot this one this past weekend here in Tennessee

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to be staying up that late out in the cold to take photos of the moon for an hour or so, but can't wait to see what other die hard moon fans get! :)

Andre Kanan Alexander said...

I have watched your photography videos on youtube and heard you mention the "blinkies" on there. Any idea if the Canon T3i has this setting? If so, where could I find it?

Dan said...

I have watched your photography videos on youtube and heard you mention "blinkies" on one of them. Any idea if the Canon T3i has this setting? If so, where can I find it?
Thank you.

Unknown said...

Great Tips Jeff, thankfully here in New Zealand it is all happening at a civilized time!

Unknown said...

Great tips!
But here it seems that the weather will not let me shoot tonight.
I shot this one last week:

Jeff Cable Photography Blog said...

The "blinkies" refers to the higlight alert setting on your camera. Set it for "on" and the blown out areas will flash on your LCD.

Unknown said...

Thank you Jeff!

Unknown said...


Anonymous said...

I am unsure what f stop you are suggesting. The lowest your lens supports or f8?

Kerri said...

Jeff, I hope it'a okay to post the URL for this blog post to the Nebraska Through The Lens Facebook group. It looks like Nebraska might get good weather for the event! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I thank you for sharing your tip. I have been photographing the moon every night for the last week. I also have a oouple of picture of mars I hope to get these pictures tonight too.

John Gutierrez Photography said...

I did a test run last night using a 500mm, ISO 400, f/8.0, 1/2000sec on a bright nearly full moon. However, as the moon darkens into the eclipse phase, be sure to downshift to a slower shutter speed accordingly. Unless you're looking for lights out!

Jeff Cable Photography Blog said...

Yes - feel free to repost. :)

Unknown said...

I got some of mine at 300mm f11 1/25 of a sec. On a Canon T3 with a 75-300 kot lens.