The impending total solar eclipse ...

Discussion in 'Photographic Technique' started by dmr, Jun 1, 2017.

  1. dmr

    dmr Member Site Supporter

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    For those of you not living totally off the grid, you've probably heard of the upcoming solar eclipse in August.

    Looking at the illustrations, I'm finding that I'm living VERY close to the path of totality, meaning I can drive 100 miles west or south right into the darkest of the dark. [​IMG]

    I've seen a few partial solar eclipses over the years, including being on the edge of the famous You're So Vain one, but never seen a total one, and this will probably be my last chance. I've already blocked off the day on the calendar.

    Anyway, I did get a "solar neutral density" filter for one of the {d-word} cameras, and I intend to do a cliche multiple-crescent type of print with that.

    I'm wondering if anyone here has any ideas or hints of what else to do or photograph, particularly any phenomena that can be photographed, up to or during the totality.

    For example, during one partial eclipse when I was in college, I noticed (but did not shoot) the crescent-shaped images on the sidewalk from the light shining through a tree. I want to get some shots of that this time if I can.

    The only other things I really remember (other than it getting darker) were things like neighborhood dogs barking and some lights coming on.

    Any thoughts or ideas?

    TIA! [​IMG]
     
    Vasile Guta-Ciucur likes this.

  2. Craig Sherriff

    Craig Sherriff Active Member Site Supporter

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    Take a torch with you, it might come in handy. People do strange things when this happens
     
  3. Phil

    Phil Administrator Staff Member Site Supporter

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    Is there a reference site for how it's going to happen? I think I might just be out of the prime area for watching it. Also don't stare into the sun, is my only advice! :p
     
  4. dmr

    dmr Member Site Supporter

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    Surf here for general info. I don't think you will see much in Rochester.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_eclipse_of_August_21,_2017
     
    pcake likes this.
  5. Phil

    Phil Administrator Staff Member Site Supporter

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    Ouch, yeah looks like I'm totally out of the area. I might try to make a trip though!
     
  6. pcake

    pcake Active Member Site Supporter

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  7. JimmyDranox

    JimmyDranox Member Site Supporter

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    First advice. One person for one camera. Because totality is not very long, is better to concentrate to only one camera.
    Second. A tripod is strictly necessary, in my opinion. More for this type of multy exposure you wanna make. Also, the change in lighting condition from partial to totallity is very hard, and you must change a lot in exposure time. More so, because you can be forced to remove the filter, during totallity.
    Third. Much atention at a very corect timing of totallity. Is very important. The diamond ring, which is formed before and after totallity is even more bright than the full sun. And a good picture of the diamond ring is not so common. Also, some good shots of sun's corona during totallity. So, someone to help with this is better..
    Forth. Train yourself before, so you can know exactly what did you have to do at every moment.
    Fifth, and maybe the most important. If you live close, think to 2 or 3 different locations with some distance in between, and choose the final destination only when you have the newest weather prediction, as short before eclipse as posible.

    You can also ask for very good, and specific advices here:

    https://www.cloudynights.com/forum/135-north-american-total-solar-eclipse-2017/
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
  8. dmr

    dmr Member Site Supporter

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  9. dmr

    dmr Member Site Supporter

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    For those who care :) I'm copying some test shots I just posted over at Cloudy Nights. I think I'm getting the exposure nailed down within the ballpark at least. I've found that ISO 100 and f/11 are working the best. Manual focus of course.

    My question over there was regarding the lack of color I'm seeing vs. the veteran's photos showing yellow/orange casts. IMAO I should not be seeing any, since the thing is white-balanced for daylight. :)

    1/250:
    [​IMG]

    1/500:
    [​IMG]

    1/1000:
    [​IMG]

    1/2000:
    [​IMG]
     
  10. JimmyDranox

    JimmyDranox Member Site Supporter

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    What kind of filter did you use? Looks like a Baader solar foil.
     
  11. dmr

    dmr Member Site Supporter

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    It's a Marumi DHG (whatever DHG means?) :) ND 100000. The brand is supposedly common in Europe but somewhat rare here in the States. It was the first/only I could conveniently get my hands on which was the size I needed. It may be sold as other brands.

    It appears to do its job well. It's DARK! You can barely see a regular light bulb through it. Outdoors it gives more or less normal exposure numbers when pointed directly at the sun.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. JimmyDranox

    JimmyDranox Member Site Supporter

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    I think that this filter is too strong for totality. It can be good for before, and after. Eventually, you can ad a color (yellow, orange) filter, and take pictures with a more open diaphragm. f4-5,6, and a longer exposure.
     
  13. dmr

    dmr Member Site Supporter

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    On Cloudy Nights, the NASA SME was saying, after looking at my test shots, that I may be able to go without removing the filter. He suggested bumping the ISO to 200.

    I may have to decide filter or no filter during totality in real time after taking 1-2 test shots.
     
  14. JimmyDranox

    JimmyDranox Member Site Supporter

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    As far I can remember the last eclipse I saw, in 1999, there is a huge difference in luminosity between totality and the phase before and after it. I think that a variable ND filter, with a ND number from 2 to 400 will be best for totality, and this Marumi DHG for before and after. To bad that you cannot test the setings for and ND filter, but is very easy to work with such a filter.

    Now I have an idea. Look for images of solar eclipse on google, and click those photos, and maybe you'll find a site with good description of the tools used, and settings.
     
  15. dmr

    dmr Member Site Supporter

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    Update, I misunderstood his note. I'll definitely be removing the filter 20 seconds or so before second contact.
     
  16. dmr

    dmr Member Site Supporter

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    Here is a suggested plan from the NASA guy, step by step ...

    From Gordon:

    demare,

    For your system, you are the best judge of your shutter speeds, but they sound reasonable, from the way I look at, which is how many stops you are under or over the proper exposure for the properly exposed full Sun disk image.

    Here is I how I lecture on the order to do things:

    1. If you are using my partial phase image sequence calculator to get you 10 image sequence between C1 and C2 you would have taken you 10th image when my timer says "2nd contact in 2 minutes." {now remember the last crescent image, or event the last 2, before totality have to be about 1 shutter speed slower that what you were using for the previous 8 partial phases because these last 2 put out less light} Print out my worksheet from my website http://www.solarecli.../docs/PPISC.pdf

    2. Right after you take that crescent phase at 2 minutes before C2, change your shutter speed to 1/4000 so you are ready.

    3. After you change your shutter speed take some peaks at the crescent with your solar glasses and alternate with taking some looks to the Northwest to see if you can see the shadow coming in.

    4. When my timer says "60 seconds" it will remind you to look for shadow bands, now, switch to looking at the ground around you for shadow bands.

    5. When my timer says "30 seconds" have you hand on you filter ready to pop it. As you continue to look for shadow bands.

    6. When my timer says "20 seconds" either pop you filter then, or wait 2 or 3 seconds more and pop your filter and immediately begin taking rapid exposures all the way through the timer tone for C2 and the announcement for "glasses off."

    7. You are in totality now, take some time to look at it with your eyes and a quick peek with binoculars

    8. Now back to you camera, start taking exposures one at a time, 1/2000, 1/1000, 1/500, etc. all the way up to about 1 second, if you are not guiding.

    9. Then set your shutter speed back to 1/4000 to be ready for C3.

    10. Now look again at totality with your eyes.

    11. The timer will count down to max eclipse, mark it with a tone and remind you to look at the horizon. Take a horizon picture with another camera NO FLASH!. Take a totality with Jupiter wide angle image. NO FLASH!

    12. Look at totality again with your eyes.

    13. The timer will announce 3rd contact in 20 seconds, get back to your camera and be ready

    14. "10 seconds" start taking exposures, and at 5 seconds start taking them more rapidly, all the way through C3, it will get really bright fast, but don't stop yet, take exposures for about 10 seconds. Then replace your solar filter.

    15. Set your shutter speed back to the setting for the thin crescents so you are ready to take the 1st image of the sequence at 2 minutes after totality.

    That's it! You did it! High five you friends! Try not to be distracted by the party that will start and finish your 10 image sequence after totality.

    Gordon
     

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