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Eclipse 2017: What would you do differently...

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#1 tk421

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 08:19 PM

If you could have a do over, what would you do differently?

 

I would get a tracking mount. The sun was so high in East Tennessee it was useless trying to use a normal tripod. 

 

This would mean I would have used Solar Eclipse Maestro to get my images.

 

I would remember to remove the Solarite filter (on camera lens) prior to totality and replace just after totality instead of inside totality. Oops.

 

Setup a video camera to record everyone.

 

Taken the 5 minutes to setup my temp/humidity/dew point sensor throughout the day.

 

You?


Edited by tk421, 29 August 2017 - 08:19 PM.


#2 corduroy

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 08:29 PM

I would practice removing the filters (with scope away from sun) and minimize my setup (i had 3 dslrs, 1 360deg cam, 1 go pro).   I stepped away from my laptop to mess with a manual camera and got mesmerized with totality, forgetting to remove the filters until 11 sec before totality ended.  I practiced my SEM scripts at least 50 times, never once did I remove the filters.  I believe if I would have practiced removing the filters, maybe my brain would have been trained and I would not have made a silly mistake.  I still got some amazing pictures but not enough to make a cool HDR image.



#3 kfiscus

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 08:51 PM

I'd remember to tune my PST barrel to find the prominences during the early partial. I was tuned too far the other way and missed them.


Edited by kfiscus, 29 August 2017 - 09:17 PM.


#4 Mike Lynch

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 09:16 PM

This was my first experience with a total solar eclipse, which, like so many of us, I wanted to get good photos of... Yet, at the same time, I wanted to experience this spellbinding event. So making a few adjustments to my advance planning would have helped get a few shots I wanted and allowed me to enjoy the eclipse just a bit more...

 

So....

 

I would have planned better how I was going to take a few landscape shots at totality, showing the eclipsed sun above and the darkened landscape below. I had a decent point-and-shoot camera for this, but failed to think about turning the flash setting to "off." When the flash went off on my first try, I fumbled trying to find the flash setting and simply decided not to waste any more precious seconds experiencing totality...and didn't get the landscape shot.

 

I would have also planned to switch my DSLR (my main eclipse camera) to continuous shooting during the last minute before totality so that I could simply press the button on the camera or the remote control moments before totality for multiple shots to get a better chance at Baily's Beads or the Diamond Ring.

 

As it was, I did get one Diamond Ring shot, but the diamond was only about 1/4 carat!  lol.gif

 

Still....I was satisfied by the photos I got and awed by the 2:38 of totality I experienced in western Kentucky. 

 

That experience itself was actually the most important thing, believe it or not!!


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#5 fielderda

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 10:06 PM

This was my first eclipse from both a visual and astrophotography standpoint.

I spent several weeks writing and modifying scripts for SEM with lots of suggestions and help from Cloudy Nights listers.

 

The cameras all fired appropriately and if there was one thing I could have done better was to spend more time getting tack-sharp focus. All of my shots were a bit soft for my liking but they are still very enjoyable to look at.

 

As one lister said:  FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!

 

Now, I can'r wait until the next eclipse!!



#6 SteveRosenow

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 10:25 PM

1.) Double check (no, triple check) my focus. It was somewhat soft in the beginning. 

2.) Make sure my capture scripts for totality worked!

3.) Purchase another camera or two for wide-angle shots.



#7 Myles

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 11:57 PM

Hang my IS binos around my neck instead of forgetting them in the car - I didn't even realize I'd forgotten until 1/2 hour after totality.

- Myles
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#8 Cajundaddy

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 12:05 AM

I had 2 sets of binoculars sitting on my workstation table and got excited, never picked one up to look at totality. Oh well...

#9 kbev

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 03:42 AM

First off I would have listened to my gut and moved from Casper to either Douglas or Glendo to avoid the high cirrus that moved across the sun as totality was drawing near.

 

Next I would have remembered to edit the scripts for EclipseDroid to account for the change of exposures when using the Baader filters I made at the last minute before leaving home, then I wouldn't have had to resort to using an intervalometer for the partial phases.

 

I would have set up my mount earlier to be sure I had it dialed in better, and I would have remembered the HelioPod was in my camera bag when I was setting up and not halfway between first and second contact.  

 

Lastly I would have made sure I used some tape to lock the barrel of my 70-300mm lens where I wanted it' The filter for that lens was a piece of Baader film sandwiched between two UV filters and screwed on the lens, it worked great but all of my images after 2nd contact were out of focus because in the process of unscrewing the filter I nudged the lens tube just enough to change focus.

 

Considering this was my first time at the centerline I was surprised by how much went right - even though I couldn't use EclipseDroid for the partial phases it worked just fine for totality.  I just wish the clouds had waited a half-hour or so to pass thru.  



#10 stevesheriw

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 07:16 AM

If I had a redo, that is an easy answer.  Rebook the trip to Idaho.  Watch the eclipse from Cascade after staying at my mom's in McCall.  Instead of just calling in sick Monday, call in sick for Tuesday as well so I could fly home from Boise.  

 

Not sure what could be done different equipment wise.  Did not get an attempt in at St. Joseph for totality, so no telling how it would have looked if I got off a shot or two.  



#11 Lukey

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 07:53 AM

I wouldn't have flown from the UK in British Airways Economy class. I'd have left the kids at home and gone Business or First!


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#12 seawolfe

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 08:00 AM

I would have had a car tent and a focal reducer for my Edge 8 AND a second camera!  grin.gif   Oh, and TIME to practice with, which I NEVER got before hand.  tongue2.gif



#13 charotarguy

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 08:33 AM

Account for what to do if clouds show up, my mind went blank as soon as the clouds hit during totality, took me good minute or a two to get my bearings back, by luck everything went okay (guess its the first timers luck). Focus more on what I need to do with respect to imaging, I completely forget to put up my secondary camera to take wide field shots with people and the sky. I had the camera, ultra wide lens but somehow completely forget about it.


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#14 REC

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 09:41 AM

If you could have a do over, what would you do differently?

 

I would get a tracking mount. The sun was so high in East Tennessee it was useless trying to use a normal tripod. 

 

This would mean I would have used Solar Eclipse Maestro to get my images.

 

I would remember to remove the Solarite filter (on camera lens) prior to totality and replace just after totality instead of inside totality. Oops.

 

Setup a video camera to record everyone.

 

Taken the 5 minutes to setup my temp/humidity/dew point sensor throughout the day.

 

You?

When I tried to take sample photo's of the sun the week before, I realized the tripod I had was not going to work with the sun that high! Ok, I said, I'll use my Orion manual EQ mount with slow motion controls to keep the sun centered. Then I started to fiddle with that and with my bad back, I said no, too much to manage during the short totality time 2:30. So scrap the camera, I just want to see it with my naked eye and through my binoculars. Besides, there will be thousands of better images out there to look at. Also, have nice photo's of the 1998 eclipse.

 

I did bring a small camcorder to shoot the crowd, but never got around to it. But I lucked out as the TV people from Charlotte, where I live was covering it, here in SC and it's on their site anytime I want to look at it.

 

Oops with the filter!



#15 dghundt

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 09:52 AM

Pack my binocs in carry on.  Airline lost my bag.



#16 REC

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 09:59 AM

I'd remember to tune my PST barrel to find the prominences during the early partial. I was tuned too far the other way and missed them.

Hmmm, maybe me too but....I was having a hard time pointing the PST so high up, that it was getting frustrating, on top of being in direct sun at 95* out! On top of that, the chair and table I had set up for the PST was too high and I had to kneel on the ground to find the sun! Then I saw a guy not far from me that hat a shade on his Lunt to block the sun. I told him good idea and he gave me a sheet of cardboard to use for mine.....now I'm set, right? Nope, I cut a whole in the board, placed the tube through the hole and put some tape on it to secure it. Ok, now let's go find the sun.....where is it, can't find the sun on the top viewer??? What's going on, I'm pointing right at it? Then it hit me...the cardboard is blocking the little hole in the scope and that's why I can't see it in the finder.....dummy! So off goes the cardboard and there is not much time left. I said, screw this, I'll just go over the guy with the Lunt and see the prominence's in his scope and besides, he is shaded from the direct sunlight.

 

You know what, I made lemonade at of a lemon situation. His view of that big prom was much better than in my PST. Very clear, sharp views of it. Now I have to find a way to get the tape residue off the barrel.



#17 REC

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 10:02 AM

Hang my IS binos around my neck instead of forgetting them in the car - I didn't even realize I'd forgotten until 1/2 hour after totality.

- Myles

Oh noooooo!



#18 REC

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 10:02 AM

I had 2 sets of binoculars sitting on my workstation table and got excited, never picked one up to look at totality. Oh well...

Oops!



#19 REC

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 10:05 AM

Good idea this post! Now i don't feel so bad.lol.gif



#20 Mad MikeE

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 10:10 AM

- Attach cameras to main battery early, THEN CHECK settings (Went for JPEG+RAW -> JPEG on Main camera (could have been alot worse!))

- I was so caught up in the 'process' of looking @ the eclipse (using binoculars, making sure family saw stuff, etc.) that I did not truly 'fix' my mind's eye view of it using naked eye and binoculars (I remember everything as a series of vignettes, not a particular 'image').
I would take time to fix an image more firmly in my head.

 

- I would use 80mm instead of 65mm EDQ for narrow angle (wide angle of 135 was a good balance for the other).

- Practice more! (can never have too much of that).

 

Other than that everything went remarkably well.  I also now have a basic eclipse workflow that worked! laugh.gif


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#21 charotarguy

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 10:12 AM

 

I'd remember to tune my PST barrel to find the prominences during the early partial. I was tuned too far the other way and missed them.

Hmmm, maybe me too but....I was having a hard time pointing the PST so high up, that it was getting frustrating, on top of being in direct sun at 95* out! On top of that, the chair and table I had set up for the PST was too high and I had to kneel on the ground to find the sun! Then I saw a guy not far from me that hat a shade on his Lunt to block the sun. I told him good idea and he gave me a sheet of cardboard to use for mine.....now I'm set, right? Nope, I cut a whole in the board, placed the tube through the hole and put some tape on it to secure it. Ok, now let's go find the sun.....where is it, can't find the sun on the top viewer??? What's going on, I'm pointing right at it? Then it hit me...the cardboard is blocking the little hole in the scope and that's why I can't see it in the finder.....dummy! So off goes the cardboard and there is not much time left. I said, screw this, I'll just go over the guy with the Lunt and see the prominence's in his scope and besides, he is shaded from the direct sunlight.

 

You know what, I made lemonade at of a lemon situation. His view of that big prom was much better than in my PST. Very clear, sharp views of it. Now I have to find a way to get the tape residue off the barrel.

 

Had the same issue, I had a shade for PST that I had never used it before, I kept trying to get the sun on the viewfinder of the PST but it would not work, I would get some weird reflections of light, after fiddling with it for about 15-20 mins I realized the shade was blocking the hole on the scope. Took the shade out but my tripod's ball head kept falling over due to the weight, luckily I had another shorter ball head which worked okay. PST became a hit after the totality when the small sliver of sun was visible, we were able to see the prominences.


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#22 Calypte

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 11:23 AM

I had two cameras: one on a scope, one for a wide-angle landscape.  If I had a do-over, I would (1) attach some speakers to the computer so I could hear the "filters off!" "filters on!" prompts; (2) shut off "live view" once focus was settled; and (3) I would avoid last minute, untested adjustments to the landscape camera.  


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#23 AUricle

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 09:56 PM

Account for what to do if clouds show up, my mind went blank as soon as the clouds hit during totality, took me good minute or a two to get my bearings back, by luck everything went okay (guess its the first timers luck). Focus more on what I need to do with respect to imaging, I completely forget to put up my secondary camera to take wide field shots with people and the sky. I had the camera, ultra wide lens but somehow completely forget about it.

You must have practiced with me.........

But I saw your youtube vid, so I know you got to see/image some of totality.

I got 6 sec, and 139/141 images are BLACK frames...totally forgot my video set up too..


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#24 dan_hm

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 10:14 PM

1. Use an equatorial mount and wide field telescope

2. Take exposures with an automation software

3. Not worry about imaging and just observe with binoculars, try to see the moon's shadow, shadow bands, and pinhole effects.


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#25 QueueCT

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 10:25 AM

Know ahead of time that when power goes off on my mount it resets tracking rate to sidereal. Power cord got jostled loose before C1 and I just plugged in and realigned to the sun thinking it wouldn't be a problem. Couldn't figure out why I had to regularly recenter the sun. Still got great pics but was annoying.




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