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How to Capture the Upcoming Lunar Eclipse in Egypt

We enlist the help of pro photographer Fouad El-Batrawi to help you capture the astronomical phenomenon hitting our skies on Monday 28th of September.

So a total lunar eclipse is set to take place right after Eid, on Monday 28th of September. Over the skies of our beloved Cairo, the eclipse starts at exactly 2:11 am, and it lasts until 7:22 am. It peaks at exactly 4:47 am,  when the earth's shadow completely covers up the moon. Here are some pro tips on capturing the rare astronomical phenomneon. 

Use a Telephoto Lens

Any lens of a focal length of 200mm or longer would be good enough for capturing the details of the surface of the moon.

Use a Steady Tripod

It's important to use a heavy, steady tripod to balance the weight of the big lens you're using.

Use Image Stabilization

If a tripod is not available, most modern telephoto lenses are equipped with an image stabilization/vibration reduction system to counter any loss in sharpness due to hand shake. If a tripod is not accessible, turn on IS/VR using the labeled switch on your lens. Note: if you're using a tripod, make sure that IS is turned off.

Know Your Camera Settings

If it were a regular ol' full moon, it'd be easy to give exact exposure settings for your camera in order to capture a beautiful moon shot. But this is an eclipsing moon, which means the size of the light disk is constantly changing, therefore the amount of light emitted is constantly changing. Therefore your camera settings should constantly change accordingly. But as a general guideline, try using a narrow aperture, low ISO, a relatively fast shutter speed. Remember, this is a light source that you're shooting, so your exposure should be relatively low in order to capture its details.

Location is Key

Image courtesy of Mohab Mostafa.

Usually an isolated place outside of the city, like the Qatameya Observatory would be perfect for this kind of shooting, but there are some spots in Cairo that would do the job. Mokatam is probably the first place to come in mind. Wadi Degla Protectorate is a very nice place to camp and enjoy a moonlit night, but you must have a permit in order to stay overnight as the place usually closes down at 6:00 pm. And if all else fails, your balcony or roof would do.

Most importantly, though, is to have fun and let your creativity and imagination go. Happy shooting!

Tips and article courtesy of Fouad El-Batrawi.


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