Eclipse Photography Tips

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2017 Eclipse Taken By Konstantin

Everyone wants to get the perfect eclipse 2024 photo, regardless if that’s a series of images or 1 image. Come level up your eclipse 2024 photography knowledge today with these tips:

To properly focus your lens, use sunspots to get that perfect aim. There may be no sunspots that day. Practice focusing on the limb of the sun before eclipse day.

A focal length of 600mm to 1000mm will work for the eclipse.

Know the effective focal length of your gear!

Eclipse photography is mostly about shutter speed as your gear determines a fixed f-stop. You will choose and setup the ISO and vary the shutter speed accordingly.

The sun is darker at the limb, When practicing settings with your gear, a properly exposed sun disk image will preserve the limb darkening

Sage images in both the JPG and RAW formats if you camera has the option and can buffer fast enough. JPG photos work great now and RAW files preserve more data for processing corrections

The final crescent at 2 minutes before 2nd contact emits less light. Therefore, slow your shutter speed by 1/3 to 2/3rds of a stop to expose it correctly.

Move the object creating a pinhole closer to or further from the projection surface to get the crescents in focus before you take the picture.

You can take a picture of the projected crescents or you can frame the picture to include the object creating the crescents

If your observing area appears to be have starting cloud generation phenomena, take pictures to document the progression

Fish eye lens views of the sky are good to document cloud changes and then totality. These are so wide angle that no solar filter is required.

You should change your shutter ti the diamond ring speed. Always make this change right after you take the final partial phase image.

Follow commands for hands on camera filters and remove camera filters. When pulling the filter, start taking images immediately.

Your final focus check should be 5 to 10 minutes before the Diamond Ring Phase

There are 3 things that affect diamond ring images: When start imaging, the moon moving, and shutter speed

Continue to take photos using the diamond settings after the diamond phase ends, as there a is no time to change the settings

Eclipse photographers want to be precisely on time with 2nd contact. If you make lunar limb adjustments, do them only if it makes you slightly earlier.

Continue imaging right through the 2nd contact time into totality. Enjoy totality for a moment before start corona imaging

Tom image the full width of the corona, for todays digital cameras, gear should ave an effective focal length of 600 to 800 mm

No single exposure can fully capture the full range of brightness of the corona. Need to learn how to take multiple different exposures.

With regular camera tripods that are not motorized and guided, the Earth’s motion and focal length of gear limit the duration of your shutter speed. 

As soon as finish coronation photography sequence, change your shutter speed bak to the settings used for the Bailey’;s beads so you are ready for 3rd contact

Remember to change your camera shutter to speed to the fastest speed you want to use for the chromosphere, beads, and diamond ring.

You must anticipate the 3rd contact. At the announcement “20 seconds to 3rd contact” get to your gear. Start imaging the chromosphere at the 10 second mark.

At C3, the sequence is chromosphere, Bailey’s beads, diamond ring, and partial phase. C2 is reversed: Partial Phase, Diamond Ring, Bailys Beads, chromosphere.

The moon does all the work for you. As it moves, it reveals more beads and exposure changes dramatically

When using a fast shutter speed for the diamond ring, consider imaging a bit longer after 3rd contact to get a more brilliant ring image

After putting on your filter for the main imaging system, change the shutter speed to the setting you want to use for the 1st partial phase image

When you replace solar filters, reproduce any filter angulation you may have needed during eh 1st partial phase to repent image ghosting

The 1st crescent at 2 minutes after 3rd contact emits less light. Therefore, slow shutter speed by 1/3 to 2/3rds of a stop to expose it correctly.

The first and possibly 2nd partial phase image after totality needs to have longer shutter time because these slim crescents emit less light

Buy an aluminum frame glass solar filter with an internal diameter that is 6mm (1/4th of an inch) to 1/2 of an inch or 12mm larger than the outside diameter of the lens.

Make sure to understand the effective focal length of camera and lens setup. 600-800mm

Nikon small image chip cameras have a 1.5 crop factor

Canon small image chip cameras have a 1.6 crop factor

When using zoom lenses, you MUST tape the barrel of the lense at the final zoom position so it cannot move and change the amount of zoom

You must refocus during the partial phases. Do a final focus 5 to 10 minutes before C2 (2nd contact) so you are in focus for the diamond ring and Bailys beads

Must use a remote shutter release for eclipse photography, either wired or wireless. Cannot touch camera to release the shutter.

Take last partial phase image 2 minutes before C2 and then immediately change shutter speed for the diamond ring settings

During corona imaging, after touching camera to change shutter speed, wait 2 seconds for allowing vibrations I striped to dampen before taking next image

Make sure to enjoy the corona with you own eyes! Finish by max eclipse and look at corona with binoculars

Maximum shutter speed when Not using a clock drive is shutter speed = 340 / effective focal length

Shutter Speed (s) = 340/600mm Shutter Speed = 0.56s 

Travel to the observing site with compass and a torpedo level

After determining zoom setting, tape the zoom ring barrel so the zoom doesnt accidentally change

After achieved good focus, you must tape the focus ring to the barrel 

Let us know if we missed any eclipse information or have suggestions to add. Make sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and make sure to view 2024 Solar Eclipse resources as well for more content like this!

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