Where are my Photos?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Planning Eclipse Photos

Australia only has two more solar eclipses this decade.


13-Nov 2012 and 10-May-2013. I hope to take some pics of them both.

The 13-Nov-2012 eclipse is a total eclipse whereas the 2013 one is an annular eclipse.

A total eclipse is where the moon covers the sun entirely, blocking it out. An annular eclipse is when the apparent size of the moon is smaller than the apparent size of the sun so it does not cover the sun entirely. In an annular eclipse you get a ring of sun around the moon.

If you want to know more about why the apparent size of the moon and sun change then there is a good article here.

The short answer is both the earth and moon have elliptical orbits.

Total eclipses are cool to photograph because you can get a flaring effect from the illuminated gasses emitting from the sun which ordinarily are not visible due to the intensity of the light coming from the sun.

Anyway - I hope to take pics of both types but it involves some careful planning.

Now bear in mind I haven't done this before so these posts are setting out how I'm going about planning for it. And some of the resources I am using.


To get the right pic - location is important.

I want to be right in the center of the path for the Umbra. (definition)

I have used the Google maps on the NASA site.

13-Nov-2012 http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/SE2012Nov13Tgoogle.html
10-May-2013 http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/SE2013May10Agoogle.html

Both eclipses are early morning so the sun will be low in the sky.

The sun rises in the east so I'm looking for a good view of the eastern horizon.

The 2013 eclipse covers a very remote area of Australia so I'm making this plan as part of a bigger trip to see our western state. Details of that trip plan are being discussed on my other blog. http://oz4x4ing.blogspot.com.au/

For each eclipse I plan to get there a day early so I can do a practice run the morning before.


My plan is to get at least one photo at the point of totality and some other images either side.

To do this I'll use my 100-400mm lens.

I also need to get a filter to protect both my eyes and the camera's sensor.

I looking at geting something like AstroSolar safety film and making my own.

I already have the TPE app for the iPhone to check the direction and timing of sun rise

During the Nov 2012 eclipse I need to be able to remove the filter during totality and hopefully get a cool shot like this: