Lunar Eclipse from Today

Lunar eclipse 2015

So I decided last night to wake up early this morning and attempt to photograph the lunar eclipse.  We were fortunate to have crystal clear skies, even though it was a cold 28 degrees this morning.  I started thinking about where to go shoot it from.

This morning I woke up at 4 AM, put on warm clothes, grabbed my gear and headed out to scout locations, knowing I had about 90 minutes to find one before the eclipse would be noticeable.  I stopped at McDonalds for a quick breakfast and coffee while I drove around.

The first location I went to was on a bridge over the St. Joseph river because I thought it would provide good composition based on where the moon was tracking.  I then went to a park.  The park gave me plenty of room to maneuver, but was left a little uncomfortable about security and the only compositional interest was a tree.

I then drove around downtown Elkhart.  There was on location by Nibco Ice park that afforded an interesting city composition along with the moon appearing to track down an avenue.  I knew that totality would occur near moonset and the buildings in the distance would end up obscuring the view along with having a greater concentration of light pollution from city lights.

I left there and trekked north with the car to my church, having photographed it before and knowing the interesting composition it afforded.  Upon getting there, I realized that the church itself would end up blocking the moon.   So I decided to trek back to my first location on the bridge overlooking the river.  I parked the car and walked over to start setting up the tripod and cameras.

I shot with two cameras.  One was a full frame camera with a 25-105mm lens on it to take varying shots involving more of the panorama.  The second camera was a crop sensor camera with a 70-300mm Image Stabilized lens on it (yielding an effective 480mm equivalent due to the 1.6 crop) to take close up photos of the moon itself.

I got there at and started taking photos at about 6AM and was there for about two hours.  It was cold enough to have frost form on my equipment.

These are the photos I took.

Lunar eclipse 2015
You can see the earth’s shadow starting to travel across the left side of the moon. ISO 100, lens set to 300mm f/5.6 at 1/200 sec.

Lunar eclipse 2015
An overall view at the start. Exposed for sharpness of the moon – blacking out the sky, and houses along the river. ISO 100, lens set to 67mm f/5.6 at 1/50 sec.

Lunar Eclipse 2014
ISO 200, lens set to 300mm f/5.6 at 1/320 sec.

Lunar Eclipse 2015
ISO 200, lens set to 300mm f/5.6 at 1/250 sec.

ISO 100, lens set to 300mm f/5.6 at 1/200 sec
ISO 100, lens set to 300mm f/5.6 at 1/200 sec.

Lunar eclipse 2015
Starting to get some of the red coloring. Too bad I was not further west to experience more of the eclipse before moonset. ISO 400, lens set to 300mm f/5.6 at 1/40 sec.

Composing with some trees.  ISO 400, lens set to 300mm f/5.6 at 1/40 sec.
Composing with some trees. ISO 400, lens set to 300mm f/5.6 at 1/40 sec.

Lunar eclipse 2015
What I was shooting through at the end. Note the fishermen getting the late start. Moonset came as the sun was rising behind me. ISO 1000, lens set to 105mm f/5.6 at 1/60 sec.

Lunar Eclipse 2015
This photo was taken at same location as the zoomed in photos of the moon. You can barely make out the moon in the middle of photo above tree line. ISO 2500, lens set to 24mm f/7.1 at 1/80 sec.

Lunar Eclipse 2015
Midway through the lunar eclipse. ISO 3200, lens set to 105mm f/8 at 1/30 sec, -2 stop.

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