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Today is be the final lunar eclipse of the year. It will be visible for those of us in Tokyo, Japan starting at ~4:20pm, it will reach it’s greatest magnitude ~5:17pm, will begin to recede at 5:53pm and will be over by 7:01pm. If you are not in Japan, you can check out NASA’s website for information on your area.
I am going to try to shoot the eclipse if time permits so I wanted to make sure my ‘moon shooting skills’ were up to snuff. Shooting the moon is actually much easier than you might think. Here is how I approached it:
First you need a focal length of ~300mm. I actually talked myself out of not buying new camera equipment (there is a first time for everything) and got away with a 200mm with a 1.4 telecoverter giving me a focal length of 280mm.
You want to put your ISO as low as possible. In my case I used ISO100. I actually tried ISO 50 but the 100 shot looked better.
You’ll want to set your aperture at f/11 to make sure you capture all of the details in the moon’s surface.
I set my camera into Live View mode, I manually focused using the LCD screen and zooming in 10x and then released with Profoto Airsync remote release, all sitting on a Manfrotto 055CX3 with two 3KG weights to keep everything stable.
In Photoshop CS5, I adjusted the curves to medium contrast and applied an unsharp mask filter (amount 150%, radius 1.0, threshold 0)
Give it a try, you might be pleasantly surprised…
Dave Powell is a photographer based in Tokyo, Japan. He writes Shoot Tokyo photography blog. You can see more of his work at www.shoottokyo.com or follow him on Twitter (shoottokyo)