Photographing the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse

Last year, when I first learned that my house was in the path of totality for this year's eclipse, I immediately logged into BorrowLenses and rented a Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 VR lens (for photography—it's now on my wishlist) and then purchased a set of eclipse glasses for my family, and materials to build a solar filter for the lens.

I've learned from Reddit's DIY community that people like the end result first... then an explanation, so:

2017 Total Solar Eclipse composite by Jeff Geerling
See the full-size image of the Eclipse composite on Flickr.

A Full Eclipse of the Moon!

Tonight many of the Seminarians watched the moon turn red as it was eclipsed by the earth. Supposedly, the rays from the sun on the outer parts of the globe are bent by the atmosphere towards the moon, lighting it with red wavelengths. I took a few pictures of the event, and I thought I'd share some observations on photographing the moon, especially in these special circumstances...

First, a picture of the setup I was using:

D40 with 70-300mm VR II lens  

It's a Nikon D40 with a 70-300mm VR lens attached, along with a hood to block out stray light from the area (I was taking pictures outside, with the seminary's bright exterior lights shining everywhere). It's all mounted on a Bogen tripod and ball head.

Here's the first shot I took of the moon: