Lunar Eclipse aka how not to take pictures!

Last night (15 June 2011) most of the world experienced a total lunar eclipse,which is when the shadow of the earth falls over the moon.So I, like most of the world’s other photogeeks, braved the minus 6 degree temperature with my little 200mm Nikkor lens, to try and get some pictures.

Ok,maybe ‘braved’ is the wrong word, as I shot these from inside my bedroom, peering out the glass doors!Hence the brown thing on one side of some of the pictures (my burglar bars). In my defence, not only was it freezing, but I was home alone,and in South Africa, and thought it wouldn’t be such a bright idea to stand outside. It was amazing though,how a bright night echoing with insects could turn into this eerily silent dark place.Even the neighbour’s eternal yapper stopped barking!

The whole experience was…educational.I didn’t realise the 200mm was good enough to get the shots I got, honestly I thought they would be a lot crappier.I also didn’t realise the true meaning of the term ‘camera shake’ before this night! I mean, I’ve always been praised for my steady hands, but wow,staying still enough to take these shots was well nigh impossible.I braced myself on things, held my breath till my face turned blue, even brought out the monopod,all to no avail.I ended up getting what I did by jamming the lens into the groove between the burglar bars and squeezing behind it in a (very!) uncomfortable manner.Thank goodness its a sturdy lens.

Some of the images were fun though.I fiddled a lot with the ISO, shutter speed and aperture settings before I found something I could use.Those happy mistakes you get with watercolours,well I discovered you can get them in photography too.

So the moral of this story is…always have a tripod handy!

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