My first solar eclipse

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mianileng, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. mianileng

    mianileng Guest

    Ever since I made one of my occasional visits to NASA's eclipse
    site last year, I've been eagerly looking forward to this day.
    The eclipse was to be only slightly over 90% of total in my area
    and I knew a photo of it wouldn't be anywhere nearly as
    spectacular as in the totality zone. But it's the first major
    solar eclipse I'd have a chance to photograph.

    Alas, sunrise came and the morning sky was heavily overcast, with
    thick fog rolling in too. There wasn't even a faintly luminous
    spot to indicate where the sun was. My friends and I watched TV,
    the clock and the darkening sky as the moment of maximum eclipse
    came and went.

    Some time later, the weather relented a bit and we began to catch
    glimpses of the receding eclipse. I started shooting and went on
    to take some 60 shots. The clouds were moving so fast that the
    brightness level changed literally from second to second.

    I saw no point in trying to check my exposures in between shots
    as the next one would need a different level anyway. I went
    entirely by guesstimate and kept turning the shutter and aperture
    dials, using exposure values from f/11 at 1/2000 sec with a
    filter to f/4 at 1/20 sec without a filter.

    I was pleasantly surprised when I later found that more than half
    of the shots had acceptable exposure, at least acceptable to me,
    given the circumstances and my total lack of experience in
    shooting a solar eclipse.

    Here's the very first shot, taken about 10 minutes after the
    moment of maximum eclipse:
    mianileng, Jul 22, 2009
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  2. David J Taylor, Jul 22, 2009
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  3. mianileng

    PatM Guest

    You are posting to a NG from outer space ???
    PatM, Jul 22, 2009
  4. mianileng

    mianileng Guest

    "David J Taylor"
    wrote in message
    Oh yeah. The thought crossed my mind once or twice. But I was so
    busy twirling dials to compensate for the constantly changing
    light that I didn't stay focussed (no pun intended) on that side
    of the matter for long.
    One word: WOW!!
    mianileng, Jul 22, 2009
  5. mianileng

    Bob Williams Guest

    I like the effect with the clouds.
    It gives the image a surreal, mysterious look.
    Kudos on your persistence.
    Bob Williams
    Bob Williams, Jul 22, 2009
  6. mianileng

    mianileng Guest

    Thanks. I too felt that the pictures with thick wooly clouds
    looked better than those with thinner, almost uniform clouds.
    mianileng, Jul 23, 2009
  7. mianileng

    mianileng Guest

    During those moments when I did think about the effect of the
    sun's image on the sensor, especially when I removed the filter,
    I felt that, since the image on the monitor was not bright enough
    to cause flare, it was probably not intense enough to damage the
    You've confirmed something that's been in my mind after the
    event. It was frustrating not to be able to see the progress and
    the peak of the eclipse, but I too felt that the clouds made the
    photos more interesting.

    One observer team, though, was even less fortunate than we were.
    The state's Science Promotion Department and the local astronomy
    club led the team of more than a hundred individuals to a hill
    top that they thought would be a good observation point. The
    thick fog that enveloped most of the town lasted much longer at
    their location than it did at ours. They never caught even a
    glimpse of the whole thing. One local newspaper printed a photo
    of the team because they didn't have a single photo of the
    eclipse itself.
    mianileng, Jul 23, 2009
  8. mianileng

    Paul Furman Guest

    Beautiful, thanks for sharing.
    For comparison, here's one I got of the normal afternoon sun through fog
    at 1/1250 seconds, I think it was 500mm f/5.6.
    and the moon:

    Paul Furman

    all google groups messages filtered due to spam
    Paul Furman, Jul 23, 2009
  9. On the basis that it was closer to the sun...?

    Hills are great when you want to look down at the land, but for looking up
    they're not much use unless they reach above the clouds. (I expect Mount
    Everest would be a great place to see the stars etc because you're almost
    at the top of the troposphere there.)
    Marty Freeman, Jul 29, 2009
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