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Primer On Total Solar Eclipse Photography For 2024 - 6 Simple Steps

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#1 foxwoodastronomy

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Posted 28 May 2022 - 12:04 PM

I wrote an article for a STEM magazine called The Inspire Journal. The link to the article is below (starts on page 22 if your browser does not take you directly to the page). It is a 4 page super-condensed version of how I teach solar eclipse photography to folks imaging an solar eclipse for the first time.  If 2024 will be your first total solar eclipse to image, this article is a great starting point.  I know the eclipse is two years away, but it is NOT too early to begin preparing. People who have already imaged an eclipse successfully will probably have a routine, I understand that.  This article lays out the basic concepts for someone trying to figure it out for the first time. (PS: I received permission from the moderator to post this link to this forum). Enjoy the information.  Post comments or questions. Gordon

https://theinspirepr...ine.pdf#page=22

 


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#2 steveward53

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Posted 28 May 2022 - 12:17 PM

The article should be a Pinned Post here ... bow.gif


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#3 foxwoodastronomy

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Posted 28 May 2022 - 12:21 PM

Thanks for the nice comment Steve, glad you liked it!



#4 Bob King

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Posted 28 May 2022 - 12:28 PM

Well done, Gordon. Nicely written with excellent tips! One question, I assume you took your 1-second exposure in that sequence on a tracking mount, right? 



#5 bobzeq25

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Posted 28 May 2022 - 12:35 PM

A word of caution if 2024 is your first total solar.

 

It's _really_ easy to let photography (especially if something goes amiss) ruin what may be a once in a lifetime event.

 

For my first, I had a simple plan.  I shot a simple sequence before, and just into totality.  Piece of cake.  As totality started I transitioned to a multiexposure sequence aimed at capturing a spectacular image of the corona.  I'd practiced it a few times, but not in the dark.  Which it was.  The instant things went wrong, I executed plan B, which had been planned in advance, too.

 

_Immediately_ (I didn't try to fix anything) I dumped the photography, enjoyed the eclipse.  I walked away with a wonderful experience _and_ the image below.  Win-win.

 

Some say you shouldn't even try to photograph.  I say by all means photograph.  But do not, under any circumstance, let photography spoil the experience.

 

Solar clipse.jpg


Edited by bobzeq25, 28 May 2022 - 11:03 PM.

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#6 ismosi

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Posted 28 May 2022 - 12:47 PM

A word of caution if 2024 is your first total solar.

 

It's _really_ easy to let photography (especially if something goes amiss) ruin what may be a once in a lifetime event.

 

 

 

I agree. For the 2017 event, I used Solar Eclipse Maestro. I tested, tested again (and again), but on eclipse day I let the software take control. SEM worked flawlessly but I was prepared to get nothing in favor of viewing with Eyeball Mark I.

 

That is my plan for the 2024 event as well. I'm not going to be staring at a screen.


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#7 foxwoodastronomy

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Posted 28 May 2022 - 07:46 PM

Well done, Gordon. Nicely written with excellent tips! One question, I assume you took your 1-second exposure in that sequence on a tracking mount, right? 

Bob, thanks for your comment.  To answer your question, yes the mount was tracking.

 

Fred Espenak publishes a formula for the longest shutter speed you can use without tracking and not get pixel blurring.  That formula is Shutter Speed (s) = 340 / focal length (mm).

 

So for my system working at 905mm the longest speed I could use without tracking would be 0.36s.

 

Hope that answers your question.


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#8 foxwoodastronomy

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Posted 28 May 2022 - 07:50 PM

Thanks for all of the thoughtful comments.  I agree with everything stated.  Do indeed take pictures, but look with your eyes and if you have an equipment failure, give up.  The 2024 eclipse is long, so you have time to do both.


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#9 ismosi

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Posted 29 May 2022 - 09:08 AM

 The 2024 eclipse is long, so you have time to do both.

It will *seem* short, trust me wink.gif


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#10 foxwoodastronomy

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Posted 30 May 2022 - 08:22 AM

Some say you shouldn't even try to photograph.  I say by all means photograph.  But do not, under any circumstance, let photography spoil the experience.

 

attachicon.gifSolar clipse.jpg

Very nice image bobzeq25, thanks for sharing it.


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