Saturday, December 18, 2010

Total Lunar Eclipse Coming Monday, Dec 20!

The full moon enters the earth's shadow during a lunar eclipse. The next one will occur December 20, 2010: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/OH/OH2010.html

This eclipse will be well suited for viewing from North America, particularly the West Coast, with the darkest portion of the eclipse happening at 12:16am Pacific Standard Time.

I'm working out detailed shooting strategies for the following scenarios, so I can decide which ones to shoot and which lenses I'll need to capture each at maximum resolution:

- Moonrise in "golden hour" daylight before Sunset:
- Continued moonrise in best post-sunset light
- Night landscapes with full moon in penumbral dim state
- Telephoto shots of moon in various eclipse phases
- Entire visible eclipse (sequence for still shots, timelapse video or phase composite photo)
- Entire total eclipse (sequence for still shots, timelapse video or phase composite photo)
- Moonset in best pre-sunrise light
- Sunrise to moonset, "golden hour" daylight

I've spent a few hours figuring our rise/set and eclipse angles so I can select a general site, specific shooting positions where I can incorporate landscape elements into the shots. The moon will cover a tremendous amount of sky on that night, rising in the northeast and setting in the northwest. To shoot from moonrise to moonset he site will need to have shooting opportunities covering roughly 240 degrees, almost 3/4 of a full 360 degree circle.

I'll make the final decision on site later this week once I can see a 10 day weather forecast, but I'm leaning towards a Southern California desert location to reduce the odds of having interference from weather.