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Preparing to photograph the upcoming October 2023 and April 2024 solar eclipses...
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Sep 3, 2023 18:23:47   #
OldCADuser Loc: Irvine, CA
 
I'm starting this thread in anticipation of the upcoming solar eclipses which will be seen in North America. Note that I photographed the August 2017 total solar eclipse and have started my planning for the upcoming events.

To start with, I've already booked hotel rooms in Hobbs, New Mexico for the October 14, 2023 annular eclipse (the so-called 'ring of fire' eclipse). Our oldest son, and several members of his family, will be joining us (he and his oldest daughter joined us for the 2017 eclipse).

As for the April 8, 2024 total eclipse, we won't need to book any hotel rooms since our oldest son lives in Katy, Texas, only 200 miles from where we've decided to observe that eclipse, Lampasas, Texas, so we'll just make it a day trip.

Now anyone who might be interested in seeing these eclipses, I've provided a link to a website which gives you a lot of good info about these events. They also offer for sale a guide book (I bought one for me and one for our son, and am very impressed by it) covering the details of the eclipses and contains very good maps for anyone planning to find a place to see them (it also comes with two 'solar glasses' needed to protect your eyes):

https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/

I'm going to have several posts covering both our 2017 experience as well as some of the plans I'm making for the future eclipses.

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Sep 3, 2023 20:41:11   #
Architect1776 Loc: In my mind
 
OldCADuser wrote:
I'm starting this thread in anticipation of the upcoming solar eclipses which will be seen in North America. Note that I photographed the August 2017 total solar eclipse and have started my planning for the upcoming events.

To start with, I've already booked hotel rooms in Hobbs, New Mexico for the October 14, 2023 annular eclipse (the so-called 'ring of fire' eclipse). Our oldest son, and several members of his family, will be joining us (he and his oldest daughter joined us for the 2017 eclipse).

As for the April 8, 2024 total eclipse, we won't need to book any hotel rooms since our oldest son lives in Katy, Texas, only 200 miles from where we've decided to observe that eclipse, Lampasas, Texas, so we'll just make it a day trip.

Now anyone who might be interested in seeing these eclipses, I've provided a link to a website which gives you a lot of good info about these events. They also offer for sale a guide book (I bought one for me and one for our son, and am very impressed by it) covering the details of the eclipses and contains very good maps for anyone planning to find a place to see them (it also comes with two 'solar glasses' needed to protect your eyes):

https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/

I'm going to have several posts covering both our 2017 experience as well as some of the plans I'm making for the future eclipses.
I'm starting this thread in anticipation of the up... (show quote)


If I feel up to it I will visit my cousin on her ranch in Texas.
It is going right over them.
Discussed it with her and we are welcome but not sure if it is worth the effort.

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Sep 3, 2023 20:54:42   #
OldCADuser Loc: Irvine, CA
 
First a recap of our experience that we had during the August 2017 eclipse.

We decided to observe the event from York, Nebraska, a small college town which was on the center-line of the path of totality. We picked Nebraska because it was about equidistant for all the people who joined us that day. Besides, my wife and I from SoCal, we had our oldest son and his oldest daughter join us from Texas, and a nephew and his wife, and her father, as well as my wife's sister, from Michigan. We also picked a small town because we wanted to avoid the crowds. As it was, the population of the place, at least for a couple of hours, more than tripled, but since we had booked our hotel rooms for two nights, we just watched all the other people bug-out after it was over

I had two photo rigs set-up that day, a Sony A65 DSLR with a 300mm lens and a Sony a6000 with a 400mm lens. In the image below, you'll see how I also provided a clothe shield to protect the cameras from the heat of the Sun (I was amazed how hard it was to find a suitable material with was white on one side and black on the other).

As for Sun filters for the lens, back in 2017 the only solar filters that I could find cost well over $100 (I needed two, a 55mm for the 300mm lens and a 67mm for the 400mm lens). So instead, I bought a sheet of solar Mylar filter material and a couple of UV filters and made my own solar filters.

Anyway, as we approached the time of the eclipse, it started to cloud over but we were still able to see the event and in fact, the images still turned out to be pretty good (see the example below).

During the eclipse, a couple of things happened, some were expected, some were not. First off, as the eclipse progressed, the temp dropped very quickly and the birds stopped chirping. Now we had been warned about this, but the phenomenon which surprised me the most was that during the period of totality, which lasted a few minutes, all around us, it was as if it were dawn, only it was 360˚. It was a very odd experience since that's something that you never see, except it seems, during a total solar eclipse (see photo below).

My set-ups - August 2017 - Sony A100, 18-70mm
My set-ups - August 2017 - Sony A100, 18-70mm...

Here's most of our crowd that day, on the lawn next to our hotel - August 2017 - Apple iPhone 6
Here's most of our crowd that day, on the lawn nex...

My best shot of the eclipse - August 2017 - Sony a6000, 400mm
My best shot of the eclipse - August 2017 - Sony a...

And here'e what it was like during full totality - August 2017 - Sony A100, 18-70mm
And here'e what it was like during full totality -...

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Sep 3, 2023 21:15:23   #
coolhanduke Loc: Redondo Beach, CA
 
I got a late start on the August 2017 eclipse. Hadn't planned to go until I looked at the path and saw my sister lived 100 miles north of totality. Hardest thing was to find a filter but managed to get the last one at a local camera store. Hurriedly booked a flight to across the country, rented a car and stayed with my sister. Drove down to Blue Pear farms and camped out in my car in an orchard. Can't tell you how many mosquito bites I got.
Luckily, I managed to get some great shots which made the trip well worth while.
So yes, planning is a good thing.

Reply
Sep 3, 2023 22:11:29   #
OldCADuser Loc: Irvine, CA
 
Now some more discussion of the issues of solar filters for my lens. As I mentioned before, because of the cost of actual solar filters, I made my own (see image below) back in 2017.

However, I just did some checking and apparently the prices have come down significantly in the last six years. I just ordered two ND100000 optical glass filters, a 55mm and a 67mm, about $65 for both of them from Amazon. These will give me 16.5 F-stops of neutral density, which is what's recommended for photographing the Sun.

Now technically, during full totality, you don't need a solar filter. The picture in my previous post was taken without any filter, however, up until you reach totality, you need the filter. And this October, for the annular eclipse, even at the peak of the eclipse, you'll still need to use a solar filter, since not enough of the Sun will be covered to where it's safe to look directly at it without protection, be it for your eyes or your camera sensor.

Now, my makeshift solar filters still work, but they're not really neutral density and besides having an optical glass filter instead of a sandwiched Mylar/glass filter should be better over all. That being said, below is a shot of the full Sun using one of those homemade 'filters'.

One of my makeshift solar filters made cutting a circel from a sheet of Mylar and gluing it around the edges of a simple UV filter - September 2016 - Sony a6000, 16-50mm
One of my makeshift solar filters made cutting a c...

A shot of the full Sun using one of my homemade solar filters - April 2022 - Sony a6500, 400mm (X2)
A shot of the full Sun using one of my homemade so...

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Sep 4, 2023 06:10:02   #
dpullum Loc: Tampa Florida
 
I ordered my filter from TEMU.com, The price is reasonable 58mm thread in filter $12 delivery about 14 days. I am impressed by the quality. "Solar film laboratory ISO12312-2 certification through the United States"
Description: "SLR For Camera/micro Single UV Filters Cover Solar Film Camera Lens End Astronomical Solar Sunspots Film Photography"

Path: https://beingintheshadow.com/planning-overview/october-14-2023/
Perhaps SpaceX will do the Orbital Shot that day... what more could the viewer there want... wow

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Sep 4, 2023 07:39:08   #
CliffMcKenzie Loc: Lake Athens Texas
 
OldCADuser, appreciate your input and direction. You mentioned cloth shield above. Give us some more detail and where you might suggest looking for something similar. Thank you, Cliff

Reply
 
 
Sep 4, 2023 07:40:43   #
CliffMcKenzie Loc: Lake Athens Texas
 
OldCADuser, appreciate your input and direction. You mentioned cloth shield above. Give us some more detail and where you might suggest looking for something similar. Thank you, Cliff

Reply
Sep 4, 2023 08:13:23   #
ProfEngineer Loc: Florida
 
Here is another link for eclipse. It gives times at any location along the path.
http://xjubier.free.fr/en/site_pages/SolarEclipsesGoogleMaps.html

Reply
Sep 4, 2023 08:17:59   #
jerryc41 Loc: Catskill Mts of NY
 
OldCADuser wrote:
I'm starting this thread in anticipation of the upcoming solar eclipses which will be seen in North America. Note that I photographed the August 2017 total solar eclipse and have started my planning for the upcoming events.

To start with, I've already booked hotel rooms in Hobbs, New Mexico for the October 14, 2023 annular eclipse (the so-called 'ring of fire' eclipse). Our oldest son, and several members of his family, will be joining us (he and his oldest daughter joined us for the 2017 eclipse).

As for the April 8, 2024 total eclipse, we won't need to book any hotel rooms since our oldest son lives in Katy, Texas, only 200 miles from where we've decided to observe that eclipse, Lampasas, Texas, so we'll just make it a day trip.

Now anyone who might be interested in seeing these eclipses, I've provided a link to a website which gives you a lot of good info about these events. They also offer for sale a guide book (I bought one for me and one for our son, and am very impressed by it) covering the details of the eclipses and contains very good maps for anyone planning to find a place to see them (it also comes with two 'solar glasses' needed to protect your eyes):

https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/

I'm going to have several posts covering both our 2017 experience as well as some of the plans I'm making for the future eclipses.
I'm starting this thread in anticipation of the up... (show quote)


Thanks! The one in April will be a good 80th birthday present for me!

Reply
Sep 4, 2023 08:39:22   #
Toment Loc: FL, IL
 
OldCADuser wrote:
I'm starting this thread in anticipation of the upcoming solar eclipses which will be seen in North America. Note that I photographed the August 2017 total solar eclipse and have started my planning for the upcoming events.

To start with, I've already booked hotel rooms in Hobbs, New Mexico for the October 14, 2023 annular eclipse (the so-called 'ring of fire' eclipse). Our oldest son, and several members of his family, will be joining us (he and his oldest daughter joined us for the 2017 eclipse).

As for the April 8, 2024 total eclipse, we won't need to book any hotel rooms since our oldest son lives in Katy, Texas, only 200 miles from where we've decided to observe that eclipse, Lampasas, Texas, so we'll just make it a day trip.

Now anyone who might be interested in seeing these eclipses, I've provided a link to a website which gives you a lot of good info about these events. They also offer for sale a guide book (I bought one for me and one for our son, and am very impressed by it) covering the details of the eclipses and contains very good maps for anyone planning to find a place to see them (it also comes with two 'solar glasses' needed to protect your eyes):

https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/

I'm going to have several posts covering both our 2017 experience as well as some of the plans I'm making for the future eclipses.
I'm starting this thread in anticipation of the up... (show quote)

August 2017 in Kirkwood, MO


(Download)

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Sep 4, 2023 10:33:03   #
MrPhotog
 
CliffMcKenzie wrote:
OldCADuser, appreciate your input and direction. You mentioned cloth shield above. Give us some more detail and where you might suggest looking for something similar. Thank you, Cliff


Look for a two-sided ‘dark cloth’ such as used for focusing a view camera. These are typically white or silver on one side, to reflect the heat, and solid black on the inside to shield the focusing screen.

This one has a drawstring to secure it around a lens.

eTone 4x5 Dark Cloth Focusing Hood Silver Black for Large Format Camera Wrapping Protection https://a.co/d/eV5pTEY

There are others. B&H has some expensive ones. Some large format camera makers will make and sell these, too.

View Camera Store has:

https://viewcamerastore.com/products/4x5-btzs-focus-hood-dark-cloth

Many people make their own. You can get a highly reflective aluminized fabric called Milium at fabric stores, or use a highly reflective white fabric for one side, and a piece of black cloth for the other side. Stack the two pieces, stitch around the edges, leaving about a 6” gap. Turn inside out. If you can’t sew, you can use an iron on fabric adhesive (called hem tape) to bond the edges. Or 1” wide cut strips of Heat and bond fabric adhesive. Bond the perimeter and then trim excess fabric by cutting into the bond area. It won’t fray and you don’t need to turn it inside out.

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Sep 4, 2023 11:50:54   #
Sidwalkastronomy Loc: New Jersey Shore
 
I photographed the 2017 eclipse came out great. I programed imagine plus gor series. I also put solar filters on my binos and was great

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Sep 4, 2023 13:27:12   #
OldCADuser Loc: Irvine, CA
 
I bought the material for my camera shrouds at Jo-Ann Fabrics. Note that while it's white on the outside, the best I could find was a charcoal gray for the inside. I cut it out (images below) so as to make it easy to protect the camera while using the long lens to hold it in place, using a couple of 'scrunchies' (like the ones girls use to hold ponytails in place).

One of the camera shrouds showing the two scrunchies - September 2023 - Sony a6500, 18-135mm
One of the camera shrouds showing the two scrunchi...

And here you can see how I used the 'scrunchies' to hold the shroud in place - July 2017 - Apple iPhone 6
And here you can see how I used the 'scrunchies' t...

Here you can see the color of the darkside of the material - July 2017 - Apple iPhone 6
Here you can see the color of the darkside of the ...

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Sep 4, 2023 16:43:20   #
CliffMcKenzie Loc: Lake Athens Texas
 
Really appreciate the quick answer. Have reached out to Etone to see if they have the focusing hood for DSLR. Will post once I have a response.

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