The last lunar eclipse of 2011 promised to be a good one for the West Coast so I woke up at 4:30 in the morning and drove to Griffith Observatory to get the best view. Katharine opted out of this early morning as it was a weekend right before finals. As with any event in Los Angeles there are a thousand other people that had the same idea, so the Observatory was very crowded.
I had to park quite a ways down the road and almost run up the hill to get a spot before the eclipse was over. I found the settings listed below to be the best for my camera and lens. I got a few shots before it disappeared behind the clouds.
Canon 40D, 200mm, f/4.0, ISO 100, 2.5 sec
Canon 40D, 200mm, f/4.0, ISO 100, 1.3 sec
It also helps to have a nice tripod for the longer exposures. I’ve really enjoyed using my Manfrotto 055XPROB. It’s a heavy aluminum tripod so I don’t take it too often, but when I do I take advantage of the slower shutter speeds.
Once the moon went behind the clouds and the sun came up most people bailed which I thought was odd since they were in the perfect place to take other photos or just watch the sunrise over LA.
This was my first time to the observatory so I also took some more artistic shots of the telescopes, which looked more like cannons to me.
If anyone hasn’t been to the Griffith Observatory I would recommend it as a quick stop to get a great view of downtown LA and the Hollywood sign if you’re interested.