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Thread: Solar Eclipse August 21,2017 in USA

  1. #1

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    Sep 2008
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    Solar Eclipse August 21,2017 in USA

    Wasn't sure where I should post this as I am looking for information on how best to photograph a solar eclipse using large format and film and also inform the forum of this up coming event in our backyard.

    Anyway there is an opportunity for us in the USA to photograph a full solar eclipse on August 21,2017 across certain parts of America from the Carolinas to Oregon coast. Here is a link to information regarding the times and path of the eclipse; https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/

    Hopefully this will give all of us enough time to plan our great photo opportunity and share information.

    And please share with us any knowledge on how to do it with film, calculate exposure without destroying our meters, our cameras, or burning holes in our film. Thanks

  2. #2
    8x20 8x10 John Jarosz's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Eclipse August 21,2017 in USA

    If you have never seen a total eclipse before I will suggest that you don't try to photograph it. At most, totality is a little over 2 minutes. You will be so consumed with seeing totality for the first time that you will miss the experience of the eclipse if you try to photograph it. There are hundreds of people who follow eclipses all over the world and some of them do photograph eclipses with fantastic results but not during their 1st time. For large format people have accessory viewers attached to the camera so they can be certain of aiming. Totality is awe inspiring. Enjoy it for the experience. There will be another one in a couple of years in the US mainland. Maybe then.

    Not a popular opinion for a photography forum I know. But it's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

    BTW, all hotels/motels along the path of totality were sucked up last August 22nd, because 1 year in advance of an event is as far in the future as hotels operate. Unless you live in or close to the path of totality you'll be making a longish drive on the day of to get to the path.

  3. #3

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    Re: Solar Eclipse August 21,2017 in USA

    Here's a primer from Nikon.

  4. #4
    Eric Woodbury
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    Re: Solar Eclipse August 21,2017 in USA

    I'm with Jarosz on this. Just enjoy. Photo with your memory. Let others photo it. If you do photo it, then you need to add some local objects to the pix, otherwise, it will look the same as all others. Just before and after totality, there will be crescent shaped shadows everywhere. Those are fun and you have more time for those. They form anywhere there are specular highlights, such as under trees, etc.

    Enjoy, EW

  5. #5
    8x20 8x10 John Jarosz's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Eclipse August 21,2017 in USA

    If you want to learn about photographing eclipses do a little research about an area that's likely where you will try to travel to. Find out about astro groups that will be in that area. They will all be quite helpful.
    You'll have time to see what they are using and how they approach it. You'll also get to see them in action during the totality segment. 99% of the people doing this these days are all using digital. But you'll see things first hand which is always a big help. The next total eclipse in the US will be April 8, 2024 and the path will be Texas to Maine.

  6. #6

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    Re: Solar Eclipse August 21,2017 in USA

    I agree with John Jarosz too. I'll have a tracking solar telescope capturing video, but during the eclipse it will be my eyes and my big astronomical binoculars ( with Baader solar filters ). No fussing with a camera to detract from the experience.

  7. #7
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Eclipse August 21,2017 in USA

    Do you really want to shoot an eclipse on LF?

    For any given lens focal length, the moon's image will be exactly the same size regardless of the size of the film.

    So you can take the shot with 35mm using a reasonable lens and cover most of the frame with the moon's disc.
    If you use the same focal length on an 8x10 film, the moon will be a tiny dot in the middle of the film.
    This all makes a huge difference if you want to enlarge the image.

    I'm not an eclipse shooter since I don't travel, but my wife is.
    She's been to almost every eclipse on the planet over the last 50+ years.

    She's gotten some very good shots using a Nikon F2 with the slowest film available, Panatomic X, APX 25, and similar.
    I suggest you consider a similar approach.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  8. #8

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    Re: Solar Eclipse August 21,2017 in USA

    Yeah, I guess you guys are probably right. I was just so excited at the thought of a total Solar Eclipse that was so close to home. Maybe it would be better to leave the LF gear home. I was thinking of trying to get a downtown shot with the eclipse between some buildings. I already checked out PE and the angle was about 60 deg elevation where I was contemplating photographing. I guess that is still pretty steep. Anyway it would be my first full solar eclipse so maybe I should just enjoy it. Though it might be fun to try. Thanks for your advice.
    --Robert

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