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Thread: Total Solar Eclipse on August 21 in the USA - Plans, strategies, tips!

  1. #31
    Senior Member Jonathan Huyer's Avatar
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    This e-book on photographing the eclipse has just been released, and I will be buying it:
    http://www.amazingsky.com/tablet/eclipsebook.html

    The author is perhaps one of the most experienced people out there when it comes to this subject. I've met him and he definitely knows his stuff!

  2. #32
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    Jonathan, maybe you can report back with the readers digest version. With 290 pages it should be thorough.

  3. #33
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    I found this on a Nikon's website.
    One of the best recommendations is practicing on sunny days before the eclipse.

    http://www.nikonusa.com/en/learn-and...r-eclipse.html

  4. #34
    Senior Member Jonathan Huyer's Avatar
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    I just downloaded the book and flipped through it quickly --- it is incredibly thorough and has absolutely everything I could possibly want to see. It is well written and organized, with plenty of diagrams, pictures, and references. The author has been to 15 eclipses and shares pretty much everything he's learned. I was particularly impressed with all the ideas for creative shots, as opposed to the standard zoom-in on the corona. In fact I now think I'm gong to try a wide-angle shot myself.
    In spite of the excellent images that are shown in the book, they still don't come close to what you will actually see with the naked eye. The incredible sight of my first eclipse in India is still burned indelibly in my memory, and I've never seen a photo like it.
    For anyone contemplating going to the eclipse (and you must go!), this book is an excellent guide. Even if you're not planning to take a shot.

  5. #35
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    Been doing some thinking about this myself lately...mostly prompted by this thread

    I'm not sure whether I'll be able to travel to see the eclipse, but I'd really like to. Since I likely won't know until much closer to the date, I'm considering booking a hotel somewhere anyway (as long as they have a good cancellation plan). I'd want to go somewhere large enough to have some hotel options, but still be a reasonably short drive to see the eclipse and hopefully good weather forecast. Seems like Idaho is looking popular so I did a quick look and maybe Boise for some reasonable hotel options? I'm not at all familiar with that area of the US so can anyone provide some insight as to if that would be a good option? Would be travelling with the family (4 yr old son and 2 yr old daughter) so nearby family fun would be a bonus.

    Or does anyone have any other suggestions? Open to any options along the eclipse path, provided hotels are available. Major airport proximity is also a plus since I'd be flying from Newfoundland (Canada).

    Stephen

  6. #36
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    I am planning my summer trip to see family (I am from Idaho) around the eclipse. I currently have hotel reservations in McCall and Boise. From Boise, I would recommend driving 2-3 hrs to Stanley basin. This is a beautiful area in and of itself with the Sawtooth mountain range, Stanley Lake, Redfish lake, etc. From Boise you could also drive west on I-84 for about 1.5 hrs. This is sagebrush/hill country. Pretty, but in a different way. Or you could drive north on SR-95 for ~ 1 hr to near Smith's Ferry. My issue with this location is that the canyon is fairly narrow along SR-55 (pretty) with few spots along the road to pull over. If I end up along SR-55 I am going to be checking a lot of things prior and will likely shoot for a dirt road on a mountain top with a more expansive view.

    A big plus for Boise, all the above are in a rain shadow of the Cascade Mtn range. Great chance of no clouds. A big negative...peak fire season. Roads in the forests could easily be closed and there could be a lot of smoke (granted, they got a lot of water this year). In short, Boise is a good spot, but there are still risks.

    That said, I would also be looking in the St. Louis/Knoxville/Nashville area. That is the spot with longest duration....and could add on Great Smokey's NP and some waterfalls

  7. #37
    Senior Member alex's Avatar
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    Stephen,

    I grew up in Boise and know the area pretty well, including the area north of Boise where the total eclipse path will be.

    Boise's a great medium/small city with plenty of places to stay and a good number of options for family fun. Plenty of restaurants, great parks close to downtown Boise, and it is pretty close to where the total eclipse will be.

    My concern with the Boise area would be that the area where the total eclipse passes, north of Boise, is a relatively closed-in area without many roads. It's pretty mountainous/hilly throughout the entire area, although there are breaks in the hills and mountains with some really great-sized valleys.

    But it's two lane roads everywhere you go, and mostly in a north-south direction. Many of the sections of the road (Hwy 55 north out of Boise) follow river/stream areas and are surrounded by hills, leaving the view of the sky relatively small and there are few options to travel quickly east/west in case of cloud cover.

    The center of totality runs through Smiths Ferry on Hwy 55, but just a little ways north is Round Valley, which really opens up and would be likely the best place to view in this area. It has a number of east/west and north/south dirt roads that are off the Hwy.

    Hwy 55 is also the main north/south option out/into Boise, so I would be worried that it could become a parking lot in spots on the eclipse day. Weekend summer traffic on this road under normal circumstances is pretty heavy.

    Eastern Idaho is much more wide-open and flat where the eclipse path will be. This leaves much more flexibility to see the eclipse and travel more easily if things need to change. But there are no cities in that area close to the size of Boise, so traveling to the area is more difficult (as in, takes more plane flights to get there) and the cities there may not be as fun as Boise. I would wager you'd still have a good time with small kids there, however. Family fun is usually pretty easy to find, no matter where in Idaho you may be.

    Honestly though, my experience in eastern Idaho is pretty limited.

    Hope this helps!

    Alex
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  8. #38
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    Thanks Brant and Alex. That is exactly the sort of info I am looking for. Sounds to me like Boise might be a good place to stay and then depending on the weather forecast on the day I could drive north into the eclipse path or further northeast as a couple options. Sounds like my concern would be traffic and road congestion though. I would hate to be stuck in heavy traffic with small kids and miss the best opportunity to view the eclipse.

    I'm also still considering the St. Louis area somewhere as that would likely be easier to fly into and I would expect the roads to be able to accommodate more peak traffic. Perhaps actually view the eclipse in Columbia or somewhere nearby.

    And my wife has put in a plug for the Carolinas area. Adding a beach to the potential vacation would definitely earn some brownie points with the whole family. I'm not sure about the relative chance for clear skies there on eclipse day though. Would be a long way to go to end up with cloudy skies....

    Still lots to think about....but I'm leaning towards booking a hotel or two...maybe in Boise and somewhere on the east coast so I at least have some options in July when I'd likely be able to actually commit to buying flights.

    Stephen

  9. #39
    Senior Member Photog82's Avatar
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    I'm starting to plan more for this and think that I want to incorporate some sort of Lighthouse along the coast. This is what our Eclipse will look like. It's partial.

    I'm going to experiment with full sun but does anyone have experience with using the Lee Big Stopper for this? I'm also wondering, I must have to do some sort of exposure blending to make sure that the lighthouse comes out and the sun is not blown out?

  10. #40
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    Or you could head to the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.

    I bet the real estate for the shot that has the eclipse and the light house in it will be at a premium.

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