Photographing an Eclipse: Planning
Everything you need to start thinking about to get great shots of a solar eclipse
If you have been keeping up with any of the major photography outlets, you have certainly heard that there is a solar eclipse happening later this year. On August 21st, 2017 the United States is experiencing the first, coast to coast, total solar eclipse since 1917. This is a rare event, especially for those of us that can’t travel far to photograph such an event.
Because this year’s eclipse is rare, a lot of planning needs to go into successfully viewing it… and photographing it… The logistics of finding a suitable location, getting there, having the ability to move if cloud cover becomes an issue are all just a start. Then there is the whole photography aspect if great images are your goal.
To help get you started planning, here is a list of things you need to be considering:
- Location – Where will the eclipse be most visible? Will there be lodging? Will there be crowds?
- Gear – What camera should I use? Which lens? Other Gear? Where do I get the gear I need?
- Protection – Protecting both your eyes and your camera.
- Equipment Tests – The results of a few equipment trials
- Camera Settings – How do I get a proper exposure of the sun? What about during eclipse “totality”?
- Practicing – Drilling on your equipment and your settings so you are confident in your abilities on the big day.
This is my first ever attempt at photographing an eclipse. Over the course of the next several articles I lay out my planning process, preparations I am making, and the practicing I will be doing to get ready for this event. I will also post a few updates on gear I am testing as I practice and let you know what I think. Hopefully my experiences will help you prepare as well and make photographing this event successful!