Tonight’s lunar eclipse will coincide with the Beaver Moon and provide 97% coverage. It will last approximately 3.5 hours making it one of the longest-lasting lunar eclipses in 580 years.

Tonight’s eclipse will be visible from many locations around the world. It will continue through Friday morning November 18. The eclipse will last for 3.5 hours so you have plenty of time to capture it and take photos.

How to prepare to photograph the Lunar Eclipse

The path of the eclipse will be visible from a large portion of the globe, but it won’t be visible for everyone. If the moon is visible above the horizon, North America, South America, Australia, Eastern Asia and the Pacific Region can view the lunar eclipse.

Screenshot of showing lunar phases

U.S.-based photographers can capture the eclipse at 2 AM on the east coast. The maximum peak will occur at 4 AM tomorrow morning. At 4 AM, it will be in New York City at an altitude 31 degrees, heading 269-degrees to the west. It will be visible on the west coast at 11:59 PM. At 1 pm, it will peak at 66 degrees, heading 236-degrees to the south. Photographers in the United Kingdom won’t be able to capture its peak, which happens after sunrise at 9:45 AM.

You can find the exact time and date that the moon rises and sets in your area by looking at TimeandDate. Also, make sure you check your weather with an online forecaster like AccuWeather. Clear skies are possible. You can shoot the eclipse against the horizon, or near tall landmarks. This will increase the perception of its size. However, you should use an app like PhotoPills to track the direction and elevation for composition.

Camera Gear Required for Photographing a Lunar Eclipse

The beaver lunar eclipse can be captured with any camera that has a telephoto lens of at least 150mm. No special equipment is needed. A focal length between 300 and 500mm is best for getting close to the eclipse and keeping details. A longer focal length will still improve your ability to fill the frame in with the eclipse. This can be done by attaching a Teleconverter (extender), to the telephoto lens or mounting the camera to an extension tube. A wide-angle lens between 24-50mm and 50mm is ideal if you are looking to create an environment composition or take multiple exposure photos in a beautiful location.

A 14-24mm lens next to a 200-500mm lens

Lunar eclipses are only possible during full moons when the moon is in the Earth’s shadow. A full moon can appear very bright, which could allow some photographers to capture it handheld without blurring. However, a lunar eclipse, however, is extremely dim. This is why a tripod is essential. Although you don’t need any filter to photograph the lunar Eclipse, a remote shutter release can reduce camera shake. An exposure delay mode or self-timer may also be helpful.

Hahnel Captur remote shutter release in hand

The Best Camera Settings to Photograph a Lunar Eclipse

The focal length of the lens will affect the settings of your camera. A wide aperture, such as f/2.8, is necessary to maximize light reaching the sensor. To reduce image noise in final shots, ISO should be as low as possible. Start with ISO 400 and then adjust. To avoid blurring caused by motion of the moon or earth, set your shutter speed to about 5 seconds. This is changing as wide-angle lenses can use longer shutter speeds, while telephotos are capable of shorter exposures. Telephotos, however, will need shorter exposures because of the motion of the moon through space. For example, a 5-second exposure at 500mm would cause blurred images.

Photo of rear screen on Nikon D850 denoting camera settings for lunar photography

If you are planning to take multiple exposures at a fixed location (e.g., to create a composite photo that tracks and tracks the moon across the sky), it is important to not expose the full moon either side of the eclipse. However, it is also important to maintain a bright exposure during its phase. You can adjust either the ISO or shutter speed to achieve this effect. Although the aperture can be adjusted, it will have an impact on depth of field. This is especially important when you are combining multiple exposures into one image. You won’t likely need to adjust your aperture as it will allow the most light to reach the sensor.