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Moon playing hide and seek

Lunar EclipseIt has been quite a while, years for sure, that I had been trying to capture a lunar eclipse (partial or whole) on film. Well, december 10th 2011 was such a day, and an interesting at that. In the Netherlands we would not see totality, that much was sure, but what would we see, if anything? Weather predictions were so so, so would I be in luck? I went to a place where enough of the horizon could be seen for the partial lunar rise. Armed with 2 camera’s and lots of gear (3 ball heads, two tripods, a slider, multiple lenses, cordless power drill, a water level, and some food) I hoped to get the lunar eclipse as a time-lapse series, hopefully adding movement as well.

The time of moonrise passed and no moon. Am I looking in the right place? I was (according to stellarium and the compass on my phone) and a little later suddenly there was the moon loosening from a thin strip of clouds. Yes! Time to start the time-lapse. Oh no! Clouds, Clear, Lets start, No! Clouds… and so on. I was beginning to lose hope when a larger clearing appeared. Having one camera set up with a wide angle lens minding his own (i.e. taking some 1800 images) the other was pointed to the moon with a tele lens. The opening was just big enough to squeeze in a 10 minute series I had hoped for. As you can see in the upper right moon, the clouds were obscuring the moon again, but it was beautiful to see a partial lunar eclipse after so much time.

Nikon D200, 70-200/2.8+1.4TC, f2.8, 1/25s, ISO400, tripod

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