Monday, 21 January 2019

Wolf moon

Last night saw a total eclipse of the moon.  It was a wolf moon (occurring in January), a blood moon (a total eclipse) and a super moon (at its closest to the earth and slightly larger than average) all in one.

It began at 02.37, reached totality from 0441 until 05.43, and ended at 07.48, by which time it was starting to get light and a bit hazy.  In fact for the first 40 minutes or so there wasn't much to see but the process seemed to accelerate as the earth's shadow moved across the moon.  Here is the sequence taken over five hours.

From the technical point of view it was challenging, as I remembered from last time in 2015.  I used a Canon 6D on a Sigma 150-600mm lens at 600mm.  I started out using ISO 100, f/6.3 and 1/125s and had to the chase the light to settings of ISO 1000, f/6.3 and 1s at totality.  I used mirror lock-up, a 10s self-timer shutter release and manual exposure.  I used a lens cover between exposures because of the hard frost - it was -3℃ overnight.  It was interesting to see how my eyes could deal with the contrast between the lit and shadowed parts of the moon much better than the camera could.

I found the whole experience pretty amazing.  Not the fact that it happens but the fact that for hundreds of years people have made sufficiently accurate observations and calculations to predict exactly when it will happen.  Don't worry if you missed it - there will be another one along in 2029.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

North Shields I

It is about time I posted some photos on this blog.  I had gone to the fish quay to look for gulls but there wasn't much about and I got distracted by the reflections in the water.  It was high tide and sunny with a gentle breeze, so ideal conditions.  These are reflections and shadows of ropes, reminding me a bit of Rorschach ink spots.  I'll post a few more photos in coming days.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018