Sun and Moon chasing at Walker Lake, Nevada
Photographing the solar eclipse is one of my most stressful events because it does not occur very often and also due to the safety factors involved with protecting the eyes. Magnifying the sun through a lens without proper caution can cause permanent eye damage so I use a Baadar Astrosolar Safety Film that has been attached to a light-proof box that is mounted on the hood of my Nikon 500mm 4.0 lens.
The safety film is made by the Baader Planetarium in Germany and reduces intensity of sunlight by over 99.999%.
Just before 2:00 PDT when the Moon's silhouette was just starting to reach the top of the Sun's disk I was set up and ready to begin the photo shoot. As luck would have it, there were clouds but they were very thin and the sun was shining bright, and there was no wind to cause camera shake.
Around 2:19pm, the moon was just beginning to take a bite out of the Sun's disk. After a few trial exposures with the ISO at 200, the aperture at f/22, I selected a shutter speed of 1/2000 a second. After checking the image, I found that I had to adjust the camera settings to compensate for the dark filter.
At 2:26pm with camera settings readjusted to f/14, shutter speed--1/400 seconds, the sun appeared through the Baadar film in almost its actual color, neutral white, but with a slight bluish tinge.
Clouds move across Sun at 2:28pm and I adjust my settings for the reduced light to f/8 and shutter speed at 1/160 a second.
The Sun is nearing mid-eclipse at 3:14pm and time for more camera adjustments, I increased the ISO to 400 at f/5.6 with 1/640 a second shutter speed.
At 3:42pm the Moon's silhouette is almost half way across the Sun's surface and with less light coming from the Sun, I opened the aperture to f/4 and lowered the shutter speed to 1/80 a second.
After this time, the sun had dropped low in the west sky almost behind the mountains and the clouds were thicker. It turned out to be a nice day for catching the partial solar eclipse and the thin clouds added to the ambiance.
While processing the photos in Lightroom, I took the artistic creativity to add some color and enlarge the AR 2192 sunspot that has been so much in the news media lately.
And I must confess that I just can not help being a little creative with the enhancing tool just to see what colors appear.
No images on this blog are within Public Domain.
With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.
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