Solar eclipse photography

Old Jul 18, 17, 2:53 pm
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Solar eclipse photography

The Aug. 21 eclipse in Seattle will be partial but still impressive.



I have never shot an eclipse and have read a bit. I know I need a solar filter, etc. My longest lens is 200mm (Nikon 18-200) and I have a 2.0 extender. Camera body is either D700 FF or D7000 cropped.

Is time lapse feasible?

Any cautions and advice would be appreciated.
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Old Jul 18, 17, 3:52 pm
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Originally Posted by SeAAttle View Post
The Aug. 21 eclipse in Seattle will be partial but still impressive.

I have never shot an eclipse and have read a bit. I know I need a solar filter, etc. My longest lens is 200mm (Nikon 18-200) and I have a 2.0 extender. Camera body is either D700 FF or D7000 cropped.

Is time lapse feasible?

Any cautions and advice would be appreciated.
As I recall, the setup for the partial phase is different than for the full phase.

For the partial phase you use the solar filter but take it off for the total phase [you can safely view a total eclipse with the naked eye]. For exposure, choose an aperture and stick with it, and you can test a corresponding shutter speed by shooting and bracketing the sun the day before the eclipse.

The best exposure for the total phase is, as I recall, a matter of choosing which features of the eclipse you wish to highlight, inner corona, outer corona, etc.

That pretty much exhausts what little I can remember about shooting an eclipse.
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Old Jul 18, 17, 4:10 pm
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Thanks. Just now learning about the features of an eclipse. Fortunately, I have some time. Any thoughts about the lens and extender? I could try to rent a longer lens but it may be too late for that.
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Old Jul 18, 17, 4:54 pm
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Originally Posted by SeAAttle View Post
Thanks. Just now learning about the features of an eclipse. Fortunately, I have some time. Any thoughts about the lens and extender? I could try to rent a longer lens but it may be too late for that.
I seem to recall some experienced shooters saying that you want less than ~1600mm to get the full sun/corona in the frame [shorter still for DX], but more than ~300 so the image of the sun isn't too small. You can try the converter and test shoot before hand to see if the image size rendered by ~400mm works for you.

With a high MP camera I assume you could get away with a shorter lens and crop, but of course there are limits to that.
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Old Jul 18, 17, 5:08 pm
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As soon as I get the solar filter, I will test as you suggest. The deck of our condo is the perfect spot and August is our driest month. We have gone the entire month of August with no rain.
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Old Jul 19, 17, 4:37 pm
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Take a look at this site. A ton of useful info:

Mr.Eclipse
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Old Jul 20, 17, 11:24 am
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Thanks. Just found that site. It's a goldmine of information and some amazing photos.
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Old Jul 21, 17, 4:50 pm
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Here is another useful site:

http://www.nikonusa.com/en/learn-and...r-eclipse.html
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Old Jul 21, 17, 5:15 pm
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Originally Posted by SeAAttle View Post
Thanks. Just found that site. It's a goldmine of information and some amazing photos.
Are you going to stay in Seattle for 90% or head south to Oregon for the full eclipse?

Only going to get ~70% or so here.
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Old Jul 21, 17, 9:28 pm
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My approach to this is.... enjoy the eclipse and download some photos taken by pros who know what they're doing.

I've learned to put away the camera and experience events, rather than just observe them through a shutter, thinking about settings, exposure, etc.

YMMV, of course.
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Old Jul 22, 17, 6:25 am
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I lived in the Atlanta area where a total eclipse occurred in the mid 80s. It was neat to look through dark glasses and watch the moon moving toward and eventually almost totally cover the sun. Of course there were thousands of photos and videos made of the event and they all looked almost the same, a big dark spot with a bright halo. What fascinated me more was the effect of the event on the landscape. It got very dark and the sky turned various shades of color during the course of the event. The effect was quite different than either sunrise or sunset as the sun was high in the sky. Take a look at the wide angle landscape photo taken in 2001 in Zambia on the Mr. Eclipse site mentioned above. It might be really interesting if the sky is partly to mostly cloudy. To me, something like this would be much more of a photographic challenge than taking a photo of a dark spot covering a bright blob.

Last edited by makeUturn; Jul 22, 17 at 7:22 am
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Old Jul 22, 17, 9:22 am
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Originally Posted by anrkitec View Post
Are you going to stay in Seattle for 90% or head south to Oregon for the full eclipse?

Only going to get ~70% or so here.
Staying in Seattle. I can shoot from our condo balcony, unless the construction crane is in the way. I have heard that hotels in Portland are completely booked and they are planning for traffic problems.

We shall see if the weather cooperates. Currently, 36 days and counting with no rain. Record is 56, I think. Late August could be very different.
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Old Jul 22, 17, 9:24 am
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I've also got a D7000 with the Nikkor 18-200 lens, and will be heading down to Kentucky for the total solar eclipse. I'll take some test shots with my solar filter - it's cloudy here today, but hopefully I can get to it tomorrow and post a follow-up.
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Old Jul 22, 17, 9:33 am
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Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
My approach to this is.... enjoy the eclipse and download some photos taken by pros who know what they're doing.

I've learned to put away the camera and experience events, rather than just observe them through a shutter, thinking about settings, exposure, etc.

YMMV, of course.
I understand and respect your approach. Photography is relaxation for me and I enjoy a new challenge. Currently doing time lapse. I liked the intros to shows like "House of Cards" and decided to give it a try. Still learning to deal with (preferably avoid) flicker.
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Old Jul 22, 17, 9:37 am
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Originally Posted by strickerj View Post
I've also got a D7000 with the Nikkor 18-200 lens, and will be heading down to Kentucky for the total solar eclipse. I'll take some test shots with my solar filter - it's cloudy here today, but hopefully I can get to it tomorrow and post a follow-up.
Still need to buy a solar filter so I can do the same. I will be interested in your follow-up.
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