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Total Lunar Eclipse for South Africa 15 June 2011

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Photo taken 1200mm

It is upon events like these that I want to jump up and grab my camera with full on excitement, to watch and photograph such a spectacular event that happens rarely. My whole life I have been inspired by nature photography having traveled Africa numerous times for a period of two years. Photographing nature and really blessed to know that God created this wonderful, beautiful, earth with so much perfection in nature as well as fine detail, from shapes to colour. Oh what a world we have! People should stand still for one second and realize what an awesome Earth we have. It’s hard not to complain about everyday life struggles, but look in nature for the happiness and perfection that was created by God full of unknown life. To South Africans, you have not seen the world if you have not even traveled in your own country! Africa is so blessed to have the big 5, sunsets, night skies filled with stars and most of all we have all countries in one ranging from deserts, oceans, forests, city life, mountains, flat plains and vast wildlife . Appreciate every detail and be inspired in your own life of colour.

A dream job would be to work with Davaid Attenborough from National Geographic’s Planet Earth series. Wow!

Tonight is the Lunar Eclipse that happens rarely when the moon passes behind the earth so that the sun’s rays do not strike the moon. This can occur when the Sun, Earth and Moon are aligned . Hence there is always a full moon the night of the Lunar Eclipse… Making it so wonderful, not half moon, quarter but full moon, making the event so much more special to see and photograph. It is said that the Lunar Eclipse is to occur tonight around 8pm CAT, and is to last for a rare 2 hours! How exciting!

I cannot wait to photograph this spectacular event, get my tripod out,my Nikon and Bausch & Lomb Criterion 4000 1200mm telephoto mirror lens on a winters night in South Africa, living out on the farms is perfect and away from city lights that might disturb the night sky.

Tips for photographing a Lunar Eclipse:

Tripod

Obviously your camera

atleast 300mm lens (in my case i’m blessed to have 1200mm antique Bausch & Lomb Criterion 4000) or a teleconverter

Low ISO of 100

Remote trigger (any movement on such a fragile lens may cause really blurry photos so best is to trigger the shutter with a remote or old school air cable release for the film guys)

Aperture: around 11

Shutter speed:  around 1/125

To all the South Africans that will be able to see the Eclipse enjoy this rare event, even if that means you need to leave your warm couch and go into the cold. This is a must see. Hopefully the weather permits to see it and that we have clear skies.

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2 responses »

  1. Awesome posting. Great lens for the purpose because it has a shorter focal length than an actual 1200mm lens, but weighs a quarter as much and still gives similar magnification. I used such a lens twenty years ago to do a shoot of a lunar eclipse in black and white film photography. The only drawback of the lens is that it is pretty difficult to focus and is very sensitive, so it needs to be very securely mounted.

    Reply

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