Last night we experienced a total lunar eclipse here in the Portland area. I anxiously awaited Sarah getting home because I knew that she would want to watch it and I wanted to watch it with her. She got home, made sure we had dinner, and then we bundled up and went for a hike to a spot with less light pollution so we could see better. I brought along the camera and my TrekPod so that I would have a stable shooting point…or more stable than holding the camera in my hand anyway.
So, out shooting the moon I have decided that while the TrekPod is nice for hiking, and provides me with a stable shooting platform while out and about it just isn’t stable enough for good shooting. I really need to invest in a decent tripod with a pan & tilt head…or maybe a ball head…not real sure on that front… Regardless, I really need a good tripod for shooting. And for hiking I think I will finally get the GorillaPod that I can wrap around whatever is handy.
So, along with taking some rather shaky shots of the moon (see my Lunar Eclipse gallery) I tinkered with some low light shooting. I had started out using the Night setting on the camera, but at Sarah’s advice I switched over to the Underwater setting that I used at the Aquarium the prior weekend. That setting proved quite good in the low light settings of the Aquarium so it stood to reason that it might work well last night. It turns out that I got better shots with that setting than I did with the night setting. I took some shots of traffic on the nearby roads, and light reflections on local office buildings. They were fun shots, but really showed the limitations of the camera. I knew that low light shooting was going to be full of artifacts (specks and such), but it was worth trying. I got some interesting shots of Sarah in the light though, with the light banding in the background (see my Night Snaps gallery).
Ok, so back to the evening. We got out and enjoyed the eclipse. We have had several in the past, but this is the first time I have actually been able to get out and enjoy it, and certainly the first time I have been able to share one with Sarah. It was really nice to be able to share that time with my family…really nice. Caulla finally settled down and fell asleep while we were out, and eventually Tiernan did the same. This was the first time that Sarah and I have really gotten out after dark like this since before they were born. Yes, we have been out late, but we haven’t been out for night walks all that often. But there is just something about going out in the light of the moon…