Showing posts with label Moon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Moon. Show all posts

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Review of Great American Eclipse

The Experience of a Lifetime

eclipse photo by mbgphoto

On August 21, 2017, I like many Americans, experienced my first total solar eclipse.  This eclipse which stretched from one coast to the other has been called the Great American Eclipse.  I had read a lot about the eclipse and we had talked about it in my photography club, but I don't think I was really prepared for the awesomeness of the totality.  It really was an experience that cannot be explained in words or even photos.  It needs to be experienced.

Our house was on the edge of the path of totality so after considering my options, I elected not to get a solar filter for my camera but rather to completely experience the few seconds of totality that we would experience.  My friend Susan,  my husband Ray and I gathered on our deck at about 11:45 to experience the eclipse.  The first hour or so went by rather slowly with the moon slowly covering an increasing area of the sun.  Then during the last 15-20 minutes the time went by way too quickly as we watched the sun going from about 3/4 covered, to a sliver, to finally totality.  The sky went darker and darker during this time, the shadows changed, the birds began to chirp and the cicadas became increasingly noisy.  Then totality and we took off our solar glasses and saw the diamond ring around the sun.  Totally AWESOME!!  We could hear cheers go up all around our neighborhood and from a schoolyard down the road.   Everyone was amazed.

During totality I did take one photo with my Canon point and shoot camera which has a 35 times zoom lens. That photo is depicted at the start of this article. It was handheld so it is a bit blurred,. but I wanted one photo that I took, after that I just tried to take in my surroundings.  

There will be another total solar eclipse in going through the USA in 2024 and if you can make it I would strongly recommend trying to get to the point of totality.  The partial eclipse is great to see, but seeing totality is definitely the experience of a lifetime!  

Photographs from Fellow Photographer

One of the members of my photography club, Bob Krause takes excellent photos and had a solar filter for his camera.  He got some great shots of the eclipse, taken on his deck in Lake St. Louis, Missouri,  which he said I could share on this post.  Here are 3 phases of the eclipse selected from Bob's photos.

eclipse photo by Bob Krause
eclipse photo by Bob Krause
eclipse photo by Bob Krause

Movie with Eclipse

This lively musical starring Bing Crosby features time travel and the predicting of eclipse and is based on Mark Twain's novel of the same name.

Buy a T-Shirt to Commemorate your Eclipse Experience

If you have not already gotten a T-shirt of the eclipse you can still purchase them on Amazon.  Click on the link below to see a wide selection of shirts.

Solar Eclipse Shirtssolar eclipse

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Reviewing Tips Learned on Photographing the Moon

Moon framed by clouds and tree photo by mbgphoto

 Photographing the Moon on a Cloudy Evening

On a partly cloudy summer's evening in August, I walked out into my front yard about 11:00 pm and was greeted with the beautiful sight seen above.  The full moon was peaking out above the clouds and was framed by my neighbors tree.  I went back into the house and grabbed my camera to shoot a few photos.  I wanted to get the moon, trees, and clouds into focus so I played around with several settings.  My first shots came out rather blurry and that leads me to tip #1

  • Use a Tripod when shooting at night
I know I should use a tripod more often but I always seem to first try without one.  Sometimes if you have something to steady the camera on you can get away with out a tripod, but I have found that the shots come out much clearer when you use a tripod.  In the photo above I used a tripod and shot the photo using the following settings Aperture-5.6, Speed 2.5 seconds, ISO 320, lens length 150mm.  I used an SLR camera, but I do believe the above shot could also be taken on a good point and shoot camera.
The Moon photo by mbgphoto
Moon August 21, 2016

Learning  from my Peers-a Moon full of Details

Although I was happy with the first photo, I really wanted to take a photo showing more of the details on the face of the moon.  I wasn't sure how to accomplish this, so I went online and did a bit of research.  I gained the knowledge that helped me the most from a Facebook photography group called Digital Photography School.  The people on the site were wonderful.  I posted my first photo and then told them what I wanted to accomplish with my photo.  Here are some tips they gave me that I then used the next evening when taking the detailed photo of the moon above.
  • In addition to a tripod use a remote shutter
  • Set the ISO to 100
  • Use a faster shutter speed (the slower speed tended to make the light from the moon blowout the photo)
  • Expect to take many photos to get one good one
  • It is nearly impossible to get both detail in the moon and foreground in the same shot. (I found there are ways to get around this but that is a bit more complex).
With these tips in mind the next evening I waited for the moon-rise and then got out my tripod, my shutter release and my new 150-600mm lens.  I set my camera with the following settings ISO 100, speed 1/125 sec, aperture 6.3, and lens length 600mm.  The moon was a bit less than a full moon on the next night, but I had also read that the waxing or waning moon can give you better details.  I was very pleased with my resulting photo that you see above.  You can even see some craters on the surface of the moon.

If I were to get foreground in the same photo I could possibly use Photoshop to combine two photos or there are some techniques using filters which I haven't tried yet.  Just leaves me with more to learn another day.
Moon photo by mbgphoto

Fun in Lightroom- Adding a bit of drama to my photo

I like to have my photos look as close to real life as possible, but sometimes it is fun to add a little drama from a photo processing software like Lightroom.  In the photo above I slid over the slider for tint in Lightroom giving a blue cast to the photo.

Zazzle Products from my Photos

I enjoy taking my photographs and making them into cards, magnets, posters and other products on Zazzle.  These are available for sale.  The first product below was taken of the  Super Moon in March of 2011.

Super Moon over Ocean Card
Super Moon over Ocean Card by mbgphoto
Add your photos and text to blank greeting cards at Zazzle
The poster below shows the full moon peaking out from under the clouds and shining on the ocean in Jupiter Florida.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

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Review This Reviews is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor

Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner

We may be apart, but
You Are Not Forgotten

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