Photo op 2: Solar Eclipse

10-23-14 209

Image copyright 2014 Mike Kelso

I took this picture during the 2014 partial solar eclipse. It passed through Pennsylvania right around sunset. I was hoping to get a shot of the sun with a slightly bigger chunk taken out of it, but the clouds moved in, obscuring my last few moments before sunset. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy with this picture and a few of the others I took that day. This is the best of the bunch, I was just hoping for a little more. 

Fast forward to 2017. Everyone who has ever looked through a telescope or worn a pocket protector is having a major conniption fit over the solar eclipse that will pass over North America in one month.  

Truth be told, I’m pretty excited myself. I live in Pennsylvania and I had considered driving to South Carolina just to get pictures. It would’ve been an all day and night affair. I would’ve had to start driving at 1 AM, get there, take my pictures, then drive straight back, arriving home around 2 AM, then getting up for work at my usual 4:30 AM.  

Needless to say, I scrapped that idea.  

The more I thought about it, the more it made sense to take pictures from where I live. We will still have a partial eclipse, but more importantly, the pictures I take will include the area that I call home. I’ll still be able to look online and see all the professional pictures of the total eclipse, but I won’t be able to see any that were shot from my town unless I take them.  

I’m looking forward to it and will start scouting locations in the following weeks. 

In the meantime, enjoy this pic from a few years back and cross your fingers that August 21st will be sunny all day, or at least until after the moon passes.

Just don’t forget, if you plan on taking pictures of the eclipse or even watching it, make sure you get some glasses for protection. I’m ordering mine today.

Have a great day.

8 thoughts on “Photo op 2: Solar Eclipse

  1. Gabe Burkhardt

    This is a beautiful photo Mike. My photographic skills don’t extend beyond my iPhone, but I can appreciate the special equipment you must have needed in order to capture the partial eclipse here. The clouds passing in front of the sun in particular are stunning.

    1. mikesimages Post author

      Thanks so much. I used a 1300mm long range lens and a tripod to keep it steady enough to take the pic.
      Unfortunately, it’s a manual focus lens, so there was some trial and error. Especially since I used the camera’s view screen to aim so I wouldn’t burn my retinas out.

  2. lizMc

    Hi Mike, I agree…another great image from your collection. I’m in the Charleston, SC area–right place at the right time for the eclipse; supposed to be about 2:45 PM for a duration of about 1.5 minutes. We expect to have lots of visitors in town, and prime spots will be super crowded. I’ve never tried anything like this…my longest lens is a 55-200. Recommendations?

    1. mikesimages Post author

      Settle in, this is gonna be a long response.
      First off, wow am I jealous. Right place, right time for sure, good for you.
      Speaking of right time, everything I’ve read has said the total eclipse should be around 1:30. Make sure you double check for your area. Just google time of 2017 total eslipse, and that should get you the right time. Make sure you’re getting your time zone. Some sites use GMT.
      Next, for the camera setup, my plan is to use three cameras. My video camera I’ll set up on a trripod for the longest zoom it will do and try to record the totality of the eclipse (or as much of it as I’ll get). I’ll also record a few minutes before and after, just to get the awesomeness of the darkening just before the eclipse.
      I’m also using my d3300 with a 55-200mm lens for surroundings pictures. Reflections and such, buildings or other thing in the foreground with the eclipse in the bacjground.
      Next, I’ll use my d90 with my long lens on it (650-1300mm). I have a cheap lens you could get on amazon for around $150-200. The downside of it is it’s manual focus. You’ll have to set your shutter speed and ISO manually.
      And lastly, protect your eyes. Get some of those approved sunglasses and aim your shot through your camera’s video screen, not the eyepiece.
      Can’t wait to see your pics. 🙂

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