We were fortunate to have clear skies for the night.
We had planned to both go back to Sprague Lake, but the wind had picked up a lot and Susan decided to stay home and watch the eclipse from our house/deck, and I went on to Sprague Lake at about midnight. I found only one other car in the parking lot.
I gathered my gear bag and tripod and began the 5-10 min walk to the fishing pier on Sprague Lake. The full moon was so bright I didn't even need a flashlight to see the snow-packed trail.
The first thing I did was take a wide angle shot of the mountains to the west.
|Pre-eclipse moonlit scene (about 12:20am)|
For reference, here's a daytime shot of this same scene.
|Daytime (just before 10am) shot looking west from the fishing pier at Sprague Lake|
Then I switched to telephoto lens. I wanted as much "reach" as possible, and after the first few shots I decided to add the 1.4X tele-converter (TC) to my 100-400mm lens. Unfortunately, this combination resulted in a maximum aperture of f/8.0, requiring a noisier high ISO setting, plus the TC makes the image sharpness pretty soft.
So overall, I wasn't that pleased with my results, but it was a lot of fun. I learned a few things, and I'll practice until I get better. My goal next time is to get something like this, shot by my friend Pat. :-)
But here are a few shots of the progress of the eclipse.
|1:03am -- the star to the right is Spica|
|1:45am at the peak of the eclipse|
As the eclipse progressed, I was noticing how much darker everything was compared to when I arrived. Many more stars were visible, plus the light on the snow was less blue and more reddish.
So I took a wide-angle "after" picture to go with the "before" picture, above.
|View to the west just after the peak of the eclipse, at 1:53am|
And I made a few exposures of the night sky in different directions.
|2:06am, looking mostly east, towards the lights of Estes Park, Longmont and Boulder|
|Looking mostly north at 2:07am, now dark enough to see some of the Milky Way|
And here's a wide-angle shot looking west, with the "Blood Moon" at the upper left.
|Looking west at 2:12am; moon is bright spot at upper left|
I'd been outside standing around in the cold and wind for over two hours, so I decided to head home rather than stay and watch the "other side" of the eclipse. It was now dark enough that I used a flashlight and walked back to the car in the empty parking lot.
When I got home I learned that Susan had a very good experience watching from our home. And she stayed warm, too! :-)
There will be another total lunar eclipse on October 8th, so maybe we'll watch that one too!