I’ve recently had a few conversations with people who asked about my “ISS” tweets (and maybe wished they hadn’t:-). What is the ISS, and how do I know when and where to look for it? This post is a quick summary of ISS-related info – enough at least to get you started if you want to go ISS-spotting.

Read the rest of this entry

I didn’t take pictures as often as I wanted to through the eclipse, and gave up at totality rather than staying up half the night to capture the other half, so my collection isn’t half as good as Nathan’s. He does have a bit of an equipment advantage over me too – at least that’s my excuse!

Anyway, to cut to the chase, here’s what I ended up with:

Overall I’m quite pleased with how this turned out. It would have been nice to have the time to take more shots, and to shoot the other half of the eclipse too. Maybe next time…!

It isn’t a great photo. This was a serious test of my camera and it failed in a couple of ways!

  • The electronic viewfinder and rear display were both useless on a subject this dim. I just couldn’t find it. I had to take a photo, preview it to see where in the frame the moon was, adjust the camera position then zoom in a bit and repeat until I had a full-frame shot!
  • The longest shutter speed I had was 2s, and so I had to use ISO320, which is pretty noisy on my camera.

There were also a few things the camera did well:

  • Auto-focus didn’t work of course, but the camera has manual focus so I could just set it at infinity.
  • The zoom is nice and long (12x – 35mm equivalent of 420mm).
  • I could pre-set the white balance while the moon was still white, and so get a “proper red” rather than have the camera changethe colours on me.

Afterwards, this was run through Neat Image to remove some of the noise, but there’s another failure of my system. Neat Image couldn’t find a piece of the picture good enough to build a noise profile from. I had to do that by hand and the profile isn’t great so the results aren’t, either.

The end result is this:

All in all, I’m quite pleased with this. It doesn’t look great, but under the circumstances I expect I’d need much more expensive equipment to do significantly better.

I have a series of shots leading up to the totality, but I’ll post those some other time. It is bedtime now!