Dancing With the Devil in the Pale Moonlight
So I dorked out pretty hard last night, running around the Auburn campus shooting pictures of the lunar eclipse. I had a good time, and actually learned a lot about the relationship between aperture and shutter speed. So here are a few notes about my evening.
The moon is a lot smaller than you think it is. Seriously. At least it's a lot smaller than I thought it was. In my mind, the moon always takes up about a quarter of the sky. But when I got out there trying to take pictures of it, even with a 30x optical zoom it didn't come anywhere close to filling my frame.
That makes me glad I didn't follow up on my initial idea to drive out to the middle of nowhere to avoid city lights. Instead I went running around campus looking for good vantage points to frame the moon against building and statues.
The moon is also a lot brighter than you think it is, as well. That's what made the eclipse such a great environment for nighttime photography. Without getting too in-depth, digital cameras have a limit on their dynamic range (the difference between the brightest and the darkest point in the photo). And a normal moon is so much brighter than everything else at night that it either ends up overexposed, or everything else is underexposed. So during a lunar eclipse, you end up with the aesthetic value of having a full moon in the frame, but also can take very long exposure shots without the moon blowing everything out.
So please check out my Picasa Web Album, for the full results of the evening.