How to Take Pictures of the March Lunar Eclipse with Smartphone? 6 Tips With Real Examples

27th Feb 2024
How to Take Pictures of the March Lunar Eclipse with Smartphone? 6 Tips With Real Examples

The March 25 Penumbral Lunar Eclipse approaches as a remarkable cosmic spectacle for onlookers. Telescopic observers are primed for awe-inspiring shots, but what about those armed only with a smartphone? How to take pictures of the March Lunar Eclipse with a smartphone? Is it even possible to take good photos of the moon with your phone?

Worry not! This past Saturday, during the enchanting Snow Moon, we delved into the details and prepared everything for you! Our guide on how to photograph the Moon with a smartphone is at your service, and the best part is that you don’t need any fancy equipment!

The Snow Moon 2024
The Snow Moon photo made on a smartphone on 25th February, 2024 Credit: OrbitalToday

A look through the March Lunar Eclipse: why would you want to photograph it?

A Penumbral Lunar Eclipse is when the Moon goes through the outer part of Earth’s shadow, called the penumbra. During the 25th March, 2024 Penumbral Lunar Eclipse, the Moon will not go into the darker central shadow of the Earth (umbra), but rather experience a subtle shading on its surface. It’s a bit like a faint shadow passing over the Moon, making it look a little dimmer during the eclipse.

It’s an absolutely great chance to observe a natural phenomenon that doesn’t happen every day! No wonder many observers desire to take pictures of the March Lunar Eclipse, even if the only thing they have is their iPhone.

Who Gets A Chance To See And Photograph The Lunar Eclipse?

This Lunar Eclipse will be visible across a wide range of regions, including parts of Antarctica, western Africa, western Europe, the Americas, the Pacific Ocean, Japan, and the eastern half of Australia.

The broad visibility enhances the chance to see the eclipse photos from every perspective you can imagine. But if you want to capture it by yourself so that the Moon doesn’t look like a dark dot in the grey sky, follow our guide below.

Step 1: Choose The Right Location

City lights contribute to light pollution, which can diminish the visibility of the lunar eclipse. Such light pollution can harm your night photos, especially while taking pictures of the March Lunar Eclipse. So, opt for a location away from urban areas, preferably in rural or suburban settings. You can use light pollution apps or websites. These tools provide maps that indicate the level of light pollution in different regions, helping you choose a location with minimal interference.

Snow Moon badly seen in the city
Snow Moon badly seen in the city. Credit: OrbitalToday

Step 2: Check Weather Updates

Stay updated on the weather forecast leading up to the lunar eclipse. If clouds cover your initial chosen spot, be ready to relocate. Beforehand, find alternative locations with potentially clearer skies.

Cloudy sky during the Snow Moon
Cloudy sky during the Snow Moon on 25th February, 2024. Credit: OrbitalToday

Step 3: Grab a Tripod

Observing the eclipse is an exciting event – to the point of trembling in the hands. So to take clear photos of the moon, try to put your smartphone on a tripod or something steady.

Step 4: Use Night Mode (if available)

If your phone has a night mode, don’t miss out! If you have never used it before, learn how to activate and make the most of this feature for amazing moon shots. Unfortunately, without it, your photographs of the Moon may look just like a bright spot on a dark background.

Photo of the Snow Moon made without using night mode
Photo of the Snow Moon made without using night mode. Credit: OrbitalToday

Step 5: Avoid Zooming In

While taking pictures of the March Lunar Eclipse, avoid using digital zoom. It can make your pictures noisy and less clear. Instead, take the photo at the highest resolution your phone offers, and if needed, crop it later without sacrificing quality.

However, modern phone models with advanced zoom capabilities can offer a unique and detailed perspective. Experiment with your phone’s zoom settings to find the balance that best showcases the beauty of the celestial event!

Snow Moon without zooming in
The Snow Moon on 25th February 2024 without zooming in. Credit: OrbitalToday

Step 6: Try the alternatives

If your phone didn’t quite capture the shots you had in mind, consider exploring alternatives! Check out the photos below, taken with a non-professional spotting scope. While it might not be the go-to for moon-gazing, it reveals intricate craters, adding a touch of fun to your stargazing experience.

One more tip – if you want to take pictures of the Lunar Eclipse using scope, you’ll definitely need a tripod or at least some hand-made holder. Otherwise, there’s no chance to take good pictures of the Moon.

Photo of Snow Moon taken by a non-professional spotting scope
Photo of Snow Moon taken by a non-professional spotting scope. Credit: OrbitalToday

What if the eclipse is in full swing but the sky is unclear?

Be Patient. Weather conditions can change, and clouds might clear up during the course of the eclipse. Periodically check the sky, and if there are breaks in the clouds, seize the opportunity to observe and photograph the lunar eclipse.

Don’t get upset!

Remember that capturing celestial events as the lunar eclipse, especially with varying weather conditions, can be challenging. If you find yourself unable to take a photograph, don’t get disheartened and go to this website for a real-time broadcast of the lunar eclipse. Also, a live broadcast can be available here.

Hope these six tips will help you take pictures of the March Lunar Eclipse! We wish you clear skies and good hunting!

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