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I have taken very few photographs of the night sky, but that doesn’t mean I’m not attracted to astrophotography. This is a composite image of a lunar eclipse I took on 12/21/2010 using my 7D and 70-200mm f/4.0 lens. It was a cold night but I was in a trance watching the moon turn red. That’s certainly not something a person sees too often.

Lunar eclipse on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 (Christopher John Sztybel)

Fast forward to January 27, 2013 and the largest and brightest full moon of the year. The Wolf Moon. My goal was to capture this enormous full moon using the 7D once again, but with a Televue TV-101 telescope (link is to newer TV-NP101) instead of one of my smaller lenses.

Christopher John Sztybel photographing the Wolf Moon with a Canon 7D and Televue TV-101 telescope

Here I am shooting the moon with the Televue TV-101

A few tips for shooting the moon outside on a cold night with a Single-Lens Reflex (SLR) camera:

  • Dress warm. This process requires patience. Shivering all over the place and shaking your camera is a no-no.
  • Use a quality tripod. Cheap tripods flex and that results in a blurry image.
  • Shoot manual. You will drive yourself crazy trying to auto-focus the moon or have the camera guess the proper exposure for something in outer space.
  • Mirror lockup. This is a feature that moves the mirror away from the sensor/film prior to the shutter being activated. Reduces shake.

Getting the camera hooked up to the telescope was an easy process. It required removing part of the viewfinder and connecting the camera with an adapter. From there it’s a pretty straight forward process of adjusting shutter speed and using the camera timer. The timer helps to eliminate any residual shake from adjusting the camera/telescope prior to the shutter actuating.

The final image of the moon needed minimal post-processing in Lightroom and Photoshop. Between the clear night and absolutely no wind, mother nature was on my side to create a perfectly crisp image of our moon. Special thanks to Dan Deutsch for letting me use this amazing telescope!

Captured on 1/27/2013 using a Canon 7D attached to a Televue TV-101 telescope (Christopher John Sztybel)