How to Photograph a Lunar Eclipse

April 14th and 15th there will be a lunar eclipse for North America to enjoy and photograph. In August of 2007 I photographed the last total lunar eclipse we could see from Nothern America but I no longer know where those photos are. Last time I ask Jimmy Hoffa to hold something from me. I always shoot the moon at f/11 unless I am trying to get a deeper depth of field then I change it to f/16 and higher the ISO. I try not to lengthen the exposure because even though the Earth moves slowly I don’t want blurry images.

Here are the settings to use when photographing the lunar eclipse. Exposure:


Full moon

Full Moon or half a moon: 1/125 sec. at f/11, 400 ISO

Quarter to half moon visible: 1/60 sec. at f/11, 400 ISO

Quarter or less of moon visible: 1/8 sec. at f/11, 400 ISO

Crescent moon visible: 1 sec. at f/11, 400 ISO

Fully eclipsed or almost completely eclipsed: 8 sec. at f/11, 800 ISO

At the peak of the eclipse: 8 sec. at f/11, 1600 ISO

You will also need a tripod due to the long exposures and a cable release/remote or using internal timer on your camera. These are used to ensure little camera movement and are essential to great lunar photographs.

My last tip is focusing, no point of doing everything else right if your photos come out blurry. Focus your lens to infinity and you will be set.

Good luck with the photos this upcoming week.

One Comment on “How to Photograph a Lunar Eclipse”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *