Here are the series of pictures of the moon I took early this morning during the full lunar eclipse. We were lucky that the sky remained clear throughout the night.
The 1st one shows the pre-eclipse moon at 19:44 on 20 December.
I went to bed before midnight, but got up around 01:15 and stayed up for the next hour and a half. The good thing was that I didn't have to venture far from the house to photograph the moon. Until about 02:00 I had an unobstructed view of it from my deck. Soon after that the moon moved behind a pine tree. But even then I only had to step down into the backyard for a clear view of the moon.
The next shot taken at 01:26 shows a shadow falling across the upper lefthand edge of the moon. The eclipse had started.
At 01:53, the eclipse was obvious.
Most of the moon's face had been shadowed by 02:19. At that time, the stars near the moon had become visible. The eclipsed moon and the bright stars formed a nice spectacle that more than justified standing at below-freezing temperatures outdoors in the middle of the night.
This is the last photo I took at 02:41. These last pictures showing the full eclipse didn't come out good. Over at A DC Birding Blog, John has much better ones.
I took all the pictures with an Olympus E-500 camera using a Zuiko 40-150 mm lens set at 150 mm. Until shortly before the moon was fully eclipsed, I did not need a tripod and could hold the camera in my hands. Even at 02:09 the moon was still bright enough for a shutter speed that did not require the use of a tripod. Once the brightness of the moon was reduced to a sliver, however, I had to reduce the shutter speed and put the camera on a tripod. At the time when the full eclipse started, I was using a shutter speed of 1/30 s at f4.5 and a sensitivity of 400 to be able to capture the red light covering the eclipsed face of the moon. I should also have used a remote release, for some of the last pictures turned out blurry from the shaking of the tripod.