Tag Archives: Night Sky

Smoking Super Perigee Moon

My shot of the super perigee moon – the biggest since 1993 – looking east over the Phoenix sky on March 19, 2011. This moon was the closest a full moon has gotten to Earth in nearly 20 years, although I really couldn’t tell by looking at it…and you can’t really tell by looking at this photo. And despite not capturing the change in appearance of the moon on this rare event, I like the effect the light cloud cover had on the moon in this shot, and I’m glad that I stood on top of that hill for an hour and a half taking pictures on my Saturday night.

Photo details:

  • Exposure: 1.3
  • Aperture: f/8.0
  • Focal Length: 55 mm
  • ISO Speed: 1600
  • On a tripod
  • Time: Shortly after 7pm

Lunar eclipse of December, 2010

Time in the shade

This image is composed of six different photos I took of the December 21, 2010 lunar eclipse and stitched together in Photoshop. The progression is the first half of the eclipse, before the moon went into full obscurity behind Earth’s shadow. The shots, which span about an hour, are arranged in chronological order, starting from the 12:00 position and progressing clockwise.

I think this mosaic is cool, and am looking to make a clock out of it, but still, I was hoping for much more color and clarity from these photos. There’s a somber rush that I get from shooting the night sky and I couldn’t wait to capture the vibrant colors of this unique event.

Unfortunately, there were a few things working against me. Some could’ve been avoided, others not so much:

  • Heavy cloud cover over Phoenix skies (bleh)
  • Equipment: 50mm/f1.8 lens; 18-55/f5.6 lens; tripod (not much zoom there)
  • Location: my patio, surrounded by street, holiday, housing and city lights (not ideal for night shots)

For these photos, I set the camera on a tripod extended to it’s highest point. I played around with the aperture mostly and found that the larger stops created too-bright and too-blurry images, so I opted for the smaller stops. Most of the photos in this image I used about an f22 stop and kept the shutter speed set to about 1/4″ – 4″ to compensate.

This is my lunar eclipse photo. There are many more photos like it. But this one is mine.

Moon, Venus, Mercury, Phoenix

Venus shines brightly above and to the right of the crescent moon. Mercury hovers faintly below and to the right of Venus. Saturn and Mars were supposed to be visible above and to the left of Venus but there was too much light and cloud cover. Taken July 15, 2010, facing West from the top of a hill just North of Dunlap on Central Ave in Phoenix, AZ.