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Point the cameras at yourself not the sun

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#1 shakafell

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 11:40 AM

Unless you are someone who makes money on their photos I am a firm believer that you should just put away all your equipment and enjoy the total eclipse. You don't want to miss the show while you are fiddling with equipment. It's like people who watch an entire concert thru their phone screen.

 

Well this time I did something much better. I used a tripod and pointed the camera at ourselves. You get to see and hear our reactions and see the sky darken in the background. To me this is a much better keepsake than a picture of a black circle.


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#2 Starry_Spruce

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 11:59 AM

I don't think making money should be the justification for photographing an eclipse--you should do it because you want to. Some people like the thrill of capture. But I agree that seeing/experiencing the event is more important (to me) which is why eclipse orchestrator was so handy.

No photo, of people or celestial objects, can replace a memory. People are slightly less interesting to me though :) (photographically speaking). Well maybe a good mix. As long as it's candid. Staged people shots are unbearable for me. (By staged I don't mean what you did, but rather "ok everyone line up and smile ­čśü"

Edited by Starry_Spruce, 11 April 2024 - 12:06 PM.

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#3 bookemdano

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 12:33 PM

Even the very best photos don't do any justice to what you actually see with your eyes (in addition to your other senses which should also be engaged during totality). The Druckm├╝ller-type HDR stuff is really neat but it's not what you actually see when you watch one in person.

 

That said, photos can be enjoyable mementos. I had a major technical malfunction during totality and only ended up with 9 usable pictures--but those 9 (plus a wide angle time lapse) turned out great and I will definitely end up printing one or more to hang on my wall.

 

Thankfully, I didn't know about the malfunction during the event because my cameras were controlled by SEM. So I spent the entire 4 minutes 13 seconds of totality looking at the sun and moon with my own eyes, binoculars and my ETX-90. Had I realized my cameras stopped firing I probably would have been tempted to try to mess with 'em, and missed much of the show. Getting good pictures but not actually seeing totality is a major faux pas I think a lot of people end up making at every TSE.

 

The rule is--automate your cameras... even if it's just a simple $20 intervalometer with some exposure bracketing. As I did in 2017's TSE and 2023's ASE I made a ton of mistakes this time, but one thing I got completely 100% right was automating everything (despite the SNAFUs). Other than taking off/putting on the solar filters, I didn't spend any time looking at or even thinking about my cameras in the 10 minutes on either side of C2 and C3. You really want to be fully present in those moments because things change and happen so quickly. 


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#4 Jlex

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 12:36 PM

There was no way I wasn't going to image!  I was prepared not to fiddle (and didn't).  If I had an equipment malfunction, I had no intention of tending to it.  Got a few selfies of me and my son.  Great day.


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#5 chvvkumar

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 01:10 PM

I enjoy things through photography. I was able to automate my imaging such that the only thing I had to do was to remove and reinstall the filters. I took a couple of selfies with family and we had a blast doing it all with some good people we met while there. 


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#6 sbsbbugsy

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 02:39 PM

That's like going to Disney World and not bringing back a mouse-ear cap.



#7 DrkNite

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 04:27 PM

I too took photos, both for this one and 2017.  A program malfunction during the 2017 eclipse left me with only 1 set of photos of the C3 diamond ring, but I was happy to have that.  This year I fared much better photographically.  However, during both eclipses, I made sure I took time to actually look at it while the camera was doing it's thing.  Seeing the southern prominence naked-eye was absolutely amazing.

 

Memories fade, unfortunately.  The photos help to preserve and re-ignite those memories.


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#8 Jlex

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 04:48 PM

 

Memories fade, unfortunately.  The photos help to preserve and re-ignite those memories.

This!  



#9 Anhydrite

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 05:57 PM

Congrats on having an opinion.

 

We all have them and some are different.

 

Be careful saying you did something "much better".....when beauty is subjective and everyone had different interest.

 

I for one could care less about having pictures or video of random peoples reactions.

I want those sweet sweet Corona pictures.

A big Diamond Ring.

The teeniest of tiny beads..

That noiseless Earthshine

Those massive Prominences

The faintest stars visible through streaming Corona

And I want it on multiple cameras!!!


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#10 Daniel Dance

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 07:02 PM

Unless you are someone who makes money on their photos I am a firm believer that you should just put away all your equipment and enjoy the total eclipse. You don't want to miss the show while you are fiddling with equipment. It's like people who watch an entire concert thru their phone screen.

Well this time I did something much better. I used a tripod and pointed the camera at ourselves. You get to see and hear our reactions and see the sky darken in the background. To me this is a much better keepsake than a picture of a black circle.


I think you need to better inform yourself.


I had 6 rigs all running and never had to fiddle with any during totality.
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#11 shakafell

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 09:28 PM

 

 

I for one could care less about having pictures or video of random peoples reactions.

 

 

I want those sweet sweet Corona pictures.

A big Diamond Ring.

The teeniest of tiny beads..

That noiseless Earthshine

Those massive Prominences

The faintest stars visible through streaming Corona

And I want it on multiple cameras!!!

I don't consider my family random people.

 

You know you can download images that are probably 100 times better than anything you could produce? Since you have everything automated what's the difference? Is it just satisfaction that you know how to setup a camera?


Edited by shakafell, 11 April 2024 - 09:29 PM.


#12 Anhydrite

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 10:35 PM

I don't consider my family random people.

 

You know you can download images that are probably 100 times better than anything you could produce? Since you have everything automated what's the difference? Is it just satisfaction that you know how to setup a camera?

There is way more to taking great eclipse photos then setting up a camera.

 

 

I'm a firm believer, that if your opinion about something is others are wrong for liking it, you should keep it to yourself.  Certainly don't make a post about it in a forum with a large group of people who do what you think is wrong.


Edited by Anhydrite, 11 April 2024 - 10:51 PM.


#13 Anhydrite

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 10:56 PM

I had 6 rigs all running and never had to fiddle with any during totality.

6 rigs.

 

I jealous. I had 2.  And they were roughly the same focal length.  I mono camera on a telescope and one DSLR.

 

What were you running?

 

Next time I'm going for at least 3. 

 

DSLR/600MM

Telescope/Color one shot camera.  Tighter focal length(extreme close up on proms/beads)

Wide field  DSLR/18-24mm

If I go with a fourth camera I may try to add DSLR/135mm



#14 DeepSky Di

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 11:37 PM

For both 1999 and 2017 I looked at the entire totality with my eyes while I captured images with a remote control. In 1999 we saw colored sparks - turquoise, purple - around the corona that could not be captured on film. For 2017 the camera captured much more detail of the corona and prominences than I could see with my eyes. I would not miss either viewing or imaging. 


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#15 Exeligmos

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Posted 11 April 2024 - 11:55 PM

Images seared into memory are far more precious than any photos taken. However, this time, I did take 4K video of the fading sun and onset of totality with the iPhone, along with a video pan of the 360-degree twilight with the eclipsed sun. I was able to move the cam seamlessly; I didn't miss a beat soaking it all in. Ultimately, the video will help to provide context and ground my memories of the event. As a bonus, screen captures are not as overexposed as the iPhone photos,



#16 steven_usa

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 09:19 AM

I started equipment checkout and planning several weeks before the eclipse, to avoid any "fiddling" during the event.  That is, what framing I wanted to use, and that I had the correct focus.   One aspect I did overlook was the camera orientation (that is, the rotation of the camera so that the progression of the eclipse was the same direction as "truth" from our ground perspective). 

 

So I did rotate the camera shortly after the moon began to eclipse over the sun, which then did impact the focus I had set.  But I was able to use that main sun spot at the time to help dial in that focus again.  Then, someone bumped my tripod!  It wasn't a complete catastrophe, polar alignment doesn't need to be perfect for tracking the sun.  I did have to re-center - but this is a warning when mixing "technical equipment" and a curious crowd (who can trip over cables, etc).

 

And while I had a "sequence plan" I wasn't entirely sure what exposure duration to use (and that's my lack of experience, since I don't image the sun often).  So throughout the totality I did fiddle with that.  There's no "one answer" on exposure-time since everyone's equipment and filter (and cloud coverage at the moment) is different.  I think my planned sequence would have been fine, but I did have to adapt to the cloud density that happened to come around at that moment.  

 

The night before, I realized a filter wheel would have been good (I have a nice 5-filter wheel), but I accepted that I was too late to practice and set that up.  But that's a value in having thousands of peer-volunteers that probably were using many variations of different filters - mathematically we could probably compute the "ideal" filter for all aspects of this event, but really we don't know until we try.  You can compensate to some extent without a filter by dialing the exposure way down, but when it comes to the sun obviously you can't minimize the exposure enough (at least not with current tech).  But collectively we come up with many "artistic interpretations" of the event, and discuss the equipment/setup involved (I knew one young lady who put thick strings across her lense to simulate diffraction lines from the sun, and got some interesting results making it look like a pulsar).

 

My wife and other visiting family captured "the reaction" type photos.  Plus another tripod capturing "the group" experience.   My daughter was experimenting with an extra solar-glasses filter on her phone.   For our area, we only had a little over 2 minutes of totality - and I was able to "experience" the majority of that: seeing Jupiter and a couple brighter stars, the overall change in hue of the surroundings, feeling how much cooler-temperature it had become, and the overall serenity of the moment (which I agree, no camera quite captures that full experience).    I do wish I had the full 4 minutes of totality, but the cloud reports were so iffy, I decided it just wasn't worth the traffic and hassle - I suspect the "true professionals" would have sought the extra time and better utilized it.

 

Years ago, a wealthy person gave the advice along the lines of "never do anything unless you are being paid to do it."  That probably is good advice overall, within reason.  On the flip side, our culture has become that something has to be "outstanding" in order to be worth paying for (sort of the "only 1st place matters" kind of mentality, or like how all movies have to be very polished blockbusters in order to be considered successful).  Before getting into astronomy, I once pondered that instead of all the millions spent on terrestrial mounts and equipment, why don't we crowd source orbiting observatories?  But I realized the 10,000's of surface based eyes is far better than a few Hubble-type orbiting eyes (and, of course, we can do both -- plus the challenges of in-atmosphere imaging has lead to things like adaptic optics and other innovations to overcome those challenges).  Anyhow, to me it is a worthwhile hobby, as an excuse to get outside if nothing else.



#17 Starry_Spruce

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 12:08 PM

To me this is a much better keepsake...

And what is important to you is what is important to you. 

 

Perhaps you are trying to convince yourself you did the right thing? Or are upset at our 'phone' society? Can't really figure out your point. Did you want to share your image? Did someone taking photos bump into you at the event and upset you?

 

In terms of image capture, it strikes me that you don't know what photography is if you think that because people have automated shutter release that they aren't doing anything. Moreover, automating it allows us to do precisely what you suggest: watch the event. Taking a picture is not about pressing the button. 

 

For many that took pictures, it is fun to now look at what was captured and, in many cases, to play around with processing the data. The experience of totality was unbeatable, but I am seeing neat things in my photos that I certainly didn't see in person.


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