In Photos: Two Eclipses and a January

In Photos: Two Eclipses and a January

This much I know when attempting to photograph an eclipse, be it lunar or solar: my first few attempts will always end up a failure. See that post-header image? Got that this at around past 5 in the afternoon on 01.15.2010 when I hoped for a decent shot of the solar eclipse. Shooting earlier would have ended in failure because those blasted clouds decided to block the sun. Way to go, clouds!

Failed eclipse shot, gained sunset shot.

(Click on image for a larger view)

I rushed to another office window to get a clear view of the sun minus the metal obstructions and got depressed because no matter what setting I use on the Lumix ZS3, I still couldn’t get a decent shot. What followed was an idea I got when I was still in school: get a micro floppy disc, tear it open, and get the magnetic film inside and use that to filter the brightness that’s too much for the camera’s sensor. I got excited when, finally, I got this (pardon the digital noise):

(Click on image for a larger view)

I did my best but it ain’t good enough and so I tried to get another shot but was already too late. The sun has already set. :(

I used the full zoom (12x optical) and tweaked the following with the dial on “normal picture” mode (limited manual):

ISO Sensitivity: Auto
AF: 1-point
Pre-AF: Continuous AF
Metering Mode: Spot
Intelligent Exposure: On
Stabilizer: Mode 2
Min. Shutter Speed: 1/8

Coincidentally, I just discovered that I used almost the same settings in getting this Lunar Eclipse shot on January 1, 2010 (save for the Min. Shutter Speed factor which I set to 1/60 for this photo):

(Click on image for a larger view)

Compact point-and-shoot cameras win at life. See those lines? Fuckit, I never thought that those can be captured, either. You may see the images of my first two failed attempts for the lunar eclipse in this flickr page.

Gloat factor: these images were not enhanced/post-processed, save for the in-camera cropping and/or resizing.

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