View 11 final images from this series on Visual Noises
Background on this Solar Eclipse
Yesterday, August 21st of 2017 marked the first day in 38 years (according to Popular Mechanics) North America witnessed the solar eclipse take shape. Of course, I had to do what I had to do to get this on camera. Luckily I was scheduled to stay late at work this day to record a board meeting so I could take the afternoon off. So, from approximately 1:15 pm to 2:45 I recorded this moment in history using still frames shot every 10 seconds with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 lens (with B+W 110 ND 3,0 – BL 1000x E filter attached). My camera is currently the Sony A7Rii for the sole reason I can digitally crop in so much to recover details. If I’d been using my Canon 5D Mark III (22mp) I wouldn’t have gotten this high 42mp resolution.
Image examples from different exposure settings
I wanted to focus on the sunspots of the sun, rather than have it look too bright and diminishing the sharp edge of the moon.
It was at this point I began increasing my exposure to get a more dramatic effect with the natural flare of the sun.
This picture above has been replaced with its current series selections, where I decided to have each shot more exposed at this point.
When I started this timelapse process, I didn’t realize how and fast the sun moved between 1pm and 3pm. I think I moved my tripod about four or five times over the 2.5-hours to get the sun to stay in frame. My maximum zoom set to 200mm, so I wasn’t able to zoom into the eclipse as my shots ended up appearing in their finished state. This wider than desired view actually was a pretty good benefit for this timelapse process.
Here is the original state of the moon at 200mm.
In Adobe Lightroom, the only settings I changed between the first 300 or so frames was the exposure. I ended up shooting at about 4 stops too dark, which was unfortunate and now something I’ll have to work with. My takeaway from this experiment is to next time, 7 years from now in 2024, make it better with more detail.
This shot above represents the two exposures varied and way 2o or 30 frames later the moon passed overhead. I used a lot of the gradual overexposing of the exposure dial to emphasize the amount of light being covered by the moon.
Making a virtual copy for 4 or 5 frames (each time I repositioned tripod) was necessary every time because of lens distortion from the edge of lens. If I didn’t do this the frames would appear to jump throughout the sequence.
This is one of my favorite moments in the series. I’m surprised that I enjoy the noise quality, but I do. So far I’ve only changed my exposure and crop so I’m always focused on sun position. This was +3.75 exposure. This is an example of the counter above, which was more underexposed.
And… the clouds took over, making for a fitting end.
View timelapse examples
View all 11 images on Visual Noises