I suppose it’s no coincidence that lunacy is a derivative of lunar. Why else would a group of photographers who probably number in the thousands all get up in the middle of the night and drive to some select spot to photograph a lunar eclipse? The spouses of our little band deemed us crazy. That is all but one of them who accompanied us. We stood around in 14 degree weather to capture shots of this rare event. That scene was being duplicated by untold numbers of shutterbugs so it wasn’t as if we were going to have an exclusive image. So why bother?
All of us had a specific vision of what we wanted to capture. In my case I really wanted to experiment with time lapse photography under field conditions. That’s geek-speak for wanting to see if I could set up time lapse in the real world. I failed miserably which is often the case with first attempts at anything. This wasn’t a money shot so failure was an option and I did get a bunch of nice images along with several million others photographing this event.
So what was the upside to this experience? First and foremost I got to hangout with other equally crazy photographers and compare notes and discuss photography. Secondly I did become expert at using the internal intervalometer in my Nikon D3. I learned what I didn’t know and I came home and practiced and read until I can now set up this function in my sleep. And a bonus learning experience was that the battery in a D300 could last over 6 hours in weather that had encased it and the lens in frost!
Are we all crazy standing around losing a night’s sleep in freezing temperatures? Perhaps but sleep is overrated.