The year begins with one of the most beautiful astronomical phenomena that human beings can observe with the naked eye. We refer to the Penumbral Lunar Eclipse , which in this case will take place today, January 10, 2020 , when the Sun crosses the horizon line. As is usual with this type of phenomenon, there are not precisely a few users who decide to photograph the full Moon during this day so marked in the lunar calendar. For this reason we have compiled several tricks to take pictures of the 2020 Lunar Eclipse, the first of the year, although not the last, as three more await us in June, July and December.
index of contents
- First of all, what time is the Lunar Eclipse on January 10 in Spain?
- Escape from civilization to an environment without light pollution
- Prepare a tripod or surface to support your camera
- Use a good optical zoom lens
- ISO and focal aperture as low as possible
- Play with the exposure time and shutter speed
- Use manual focus to avoid the appearance of the dreaded "halo"
- On mobile or camera: always shoot in RAW
First of all, what time is the Lunar Eclipse on January 10 in Spain?
Before entering the matter, it is convenient to know the schedule of the Lunar Eclipse in Spain. Roughly speaking, the Eclipse of the Moon will be visible to the naked eye when the satellite begins to appear in the sky. The National Astronomical Observatory assures, however, that the beginning of the phenomenon will take place from 6:00 p.m. in the afternoon until 10:00 p.m. at night .
If we want to photograph the Penumbral Lunar Eclipse at its best, the aforementioned organism assures that it will be from 20:00 when the Moon overshadows more than 90% of its surface. At 20:08 it will be the best time to capture an image of the Eclipse.
Escape from civilization to an environment without light pollution
The best way to get a picture of the sky and the Moon in all its splendor is to flee to low-light terrain. Since we will use long exposures, the best thing to do to avoid getting trails from cars, streetlights and airplanes is to flee to an environment without lights.
An open field, the periphery or a field are good scenarios to capture images of the penumbral Lunar Eclipse without luminous bodies in between, beyond the Moon and the stars.
Prepare a tripod or surface to support your camera
If we want to take long exposures of the Moon in poorly lit terrain, the key to obtaining a clear photograph is based on keeping the body of the camera or the mobile as stable as possible . It is advisable in this case to use a tripod, although if we do not have one we can always resort to a flat surface, such as a rock, the branch of a tree or the ground itself.
It is also recommended to use a wireless shutter or use the timer to avoid movements when pressing the shutter.
Use a good optical zoom lens
Although the full Moon is shown in all its splendor during the first hours of the Eclipse, the truth is that its size will not be very significant if we compare it with other Lunar Eclipses. For this reason it is recommended to use a lens with an optical zoom of at least 50x. Around 600 millimeters if we talk about SLR cameras , although we can also use 300 or 400 millimeters lenses.
If we have a mobile as the only companion in battles, we will have to resort to the telephoto lens to capture the image if it has a second lens. Phones like the Huawei P30 Pro have five optical magnifications and ten hybrids. The iPhone, for its part, only has two magnifications.
Don't we have a telephoto lens? In this case we will have to forget about digital zoom : it is preferable to enlarge the image afterwards than to obtain an image with noise.
ISO and focal aperture as low as possible
We have everything ready to capture an image of the full Moon. What values should we use in manual mode?
Given that we will find ourselves in a rather poorly lit environment, the best thing to do to avoid the appearance of noise is to limit the ISO level and the focal aperture . The values that we recommend on tuexperto.com are the following:
- ISO : a value between 100 and 200, never higher than this amount.
- Focal aperture : a value between f / 16 if the sky is cloudless and f / 10 if there are clouds.
These values are indicative, so we will have to play by trial and error to get the best photograph. It all depends on the conditions of the scene.
Play with the exposure time and shutter speed
Depending on the type of image we want to obtain, we can play with the exposure time to a greater or lesser extent. To obtain an image of the Moon and only the Moon, it is best to opt for low exposure times to avoid burning the image . If, on the other hand, we prefer to integrate the Moon with the rest of the sky and the city in the background, we can play with longer times .
The amount that from tuexperto.com we recommend is between 1/200 and 1/125 . In the second type of image we can play with times of several seconds, although it is not recommended.
Use manual focus to avoid the appearance of the dreaded "halo"
When taking lunar photography, one of the most recurrent problems is based precisely on the famous "halo" effect that is obtained when taking a direct image of it. For this reason it is best to use a manual focus if we use a lens with several magnifications .
If we decide to integrate the image with other elements we can opt for an automatic focus, although again it is not the most recommended if we want to project the best face of the Eclipse.
On mobile or camera: always shoot in RAW
If our mobile phone allows us (we can always use applications such as Camera FV-5) and our camera has RAW development, we will have to use this parameter to obtain an image with the highest possible digital quality .
By definition, images in RAW format are not compressed at all . If, on the other hand, we choose to take the photographs in PNG or JPG format, it is most likely that we will obtain an image with part of the sky information lost when compressed. Later we can edit the image in programs like Lightroom or Photoshop without losing a bit of quality.