Tonight's sky will have a spectacular show of the Blood Moon with the longest lunar eclipse of the century. Starting a little before midnight, the entire Lunar Eclipse in all phases will last for about 6 hours. The Moon will be cast in Earth's shadow for 1 hour 43 minutes. The entire celestial phenomenon lasting so long is rare as the Earth will also be at the farthest point from the Sun. Astrophotography enthusiasts will be definitely geared up about capturing the Moon which will take a shade of red. You too can get your hands on capturing the celestial event but if you are not sure how to go about it, let us help you with some basic tips and tricks. Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse 2018: When and Where to Watch the Celestial Event on July 27
Basic Tips to Photograph The Lunar Eclipse
- Use a Tripod: A tripod is must, to take clear pictures of distant objects unless your hands are very steady and don't move at all while clicking pictures. But even professionals prefer to shoot stars and other objects with a tripod. With your camera steady, you can adjust your frame and also put your camera on timer, and take hasslefree shots.
- Plan your shot: Try and go to a place which will have fewer disturbances in your frame, preferably an open ground. Reference some pictures that have been already taken and decide what kind of shots you'd like to capture. Decide upon your frame, which side would you want the moon to be. Keep the variety in mind before you randomly start clicking at the first sight of the moon. Lunar Eclipse 2018 Live Streaming: Where to Watch The Century's Longest Lunar Eclipse
- Camera Settings: Since it is night time, you need to take care of your camera settings, in terms of the exposure. It is difficult to focus on an object since your frame is all dark. So whenever you set a frame, manage your focal point before by alighting some object. Take the pictures on Manual mode.
Keep your F-number at f/11 and your ISO about 100 or 200. Keep your shutter speed high. A lower shutter speed will give you blurry photos. And for events like these, the sharpness is important. So keep your shutter speed about 1/125 plus to 1/250 sec. You will have to change it from time to time depending upon the light conditions and position of the moon.
- Practice a few shots beforehand: Try a few shots to adjust the proper settings. Depending on the camera models and lenses, the ISO and shutter speed may vary. Ideally, lenses with larger focal length are used to capture farther objects, but you'd also have to watch out for the shutter speed. A lens with 200mm or more is beneficial.
- Focus: Whichever lens you are using, the focus is extremely important and it will vary as the movement changes. Your autofocus option will not work in the darkness, you will have to set it manually over and over again. After you take a picture, zoom in as much as you can to see if the pictures are focused. Because at first glance, it will appear clear but when you zoom it, it would be blurry. Check the sharpness of the image before you continue shooting.
If you have regularly used the manual mood on your camera you will get a hang of changing the settings as per the need. If you are planning to get the entire sequence captures then be patient enough. You will have to capture for hours, despite some disturbances in between.
Smartphone users, you will need some lenses to attach to your phone camera to capture the moon clearly, or it is just going to look like a white blob. Also, use a tripod even if you are shooting on a smartphone. A steady camera is important. So get ready to impress your social media followers with the perfect blood moon pictures.