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

  1. #41
    Senior Member Jonathan Huyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photog82 View Post
    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?
    If you have any chance at all of getting into the path of totality, I would definitely say do it. A partial eclipse is interesting, but a total eclipse is the most spectacular natural phenomenon that you can possibly witness, IMHO. I've traveled the world to see eclipses on three occasions (had success twice), and it is so stunning it is beyond description. The photos never do it justice --- you just have to see it in person!

  2. #42
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    I was playing around with some of those Sun and Moon rise and set prediction tools.

    In a couple of places I noticed that the moon would be coming up 45 minutes to half hour prior to the Sun.

    This might offer up some very interesting Sunrise shots if the clouds cooperate etc.

    Thoughts

    Mike
    If you see me with a wrench, call 911

  3. #43
    Senior Member Jonathan Huyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Busted Knuckles View Post
    I was playing around with some of those Sun and Moon rise and set prediction tools.

    In a couple of places I noticed that the moon would be coming up 45 minutes to half hour prior to the Sun.

    This might offer up some very interesting Sunrise shots if the clouds cooperate etc.

    Thoughts

    Mike
    If you are talking about taking a moonrise shot on the day of the eclipse, the moon is going to be absolutely razor thin at that point --- it might not even be visible to the naked eye. With a telescope you can probably find it, if you know where to look. But if you photograph the moonrise the day before, or the moonset the day after, then you might have better luck.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Huyer View Post
    If you are talking about taking a moonrise shot on the day of the eclipse, the moon is going to be absolutely razor thin at that point --- it might not even be visible to the naked eye. With a telescope you can probably find it, if you know where to look. But if you photograph the moonrise the day before, or the moonset the day after, then you might have better luck.
    day before, in most places it seemed to be 75 minutes before the sunrise - likely to be that sliver. Got reservations in twin falls, for the weekend. Plan on doing a lot of scouting around.
    If you see me with a wrench, call 911

  5. #45
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    Any one bought gear/filters yet to use?
    Any impressions or recommendations to share?

    I will be headed toward West Yellowstone on the 18th. Will be checking weather for Tetons and Idaho and if it is looking bad we could go to Wyoming instead.
    Idaho Falls and the Tetons are both about 2 hour drive from the cabin. We can make a judgment call in the early AM and head to the spot we think best.

  6. #46
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk View Post
    Any one bought gear/filters yet to use?
    Any impressions or recommendations to share?

    I will be headed toward West Yellowstone on the 18th. Will be checking weather for Tetons and Idaho and if it is looking bad we could go to Wyoming instead.
    Idaho Falls and the Tetons are both about 2 hour drive from the cabin. We can make a judgment call in the early AM and head to the spot we think best.
    Hi Rick,

    That does sound like a good plan. I'm staying in McCall, ID and headed south likely along Hwy 95. So, the other side of the state. But it sounds like a lot of the "eclipse people" are headed to Idaho Falls to Stanley Basin area to view the eclipse, so closer to your area.

    I have started receiving and testing equipment. For starters, of course, I have the glasses. Looking through them, they work just fine. But it is amazing how small the sun really is in the sky when all the glare is removed. The next level is binoculars. They are making filters for binoculars. I have bought some for my binoculars that I will likely be leaving in New Hampshire (wife is not making trip). I am impressed with this view. Through binoculars I could make out sunspots with these filters. So I will have something like this with me in Idaho.

    As for my camera set up. First, I did buy and equatorial mount. It arrived just recently and I have not yet practiced. But, from what I have read, it will be difficult to align the morning of the eclipse as finding the north star is impossible. There are some workarounds, but accuracy is questionable which may impede tracking. So, I am not sure an equatorial mount is really going to be that helpful and I may skip it.

    The other issue with the equatorial mount is load. I've read the ebook Jonathan posted (excellent) and based on everything I read ~800 mm focal length would be ideal. I can get there with my 150-600S plus 1.4x TC. But, while that and my 5DIII is technically within the load capacity of the equatorial mount I bought (Skywatcher Adventurer), reading the book and a few reviews, I am likely pushing the weight too much. Thus, I am also considering my EF 70-300L with a 2x TC.

    So, with that said, I am also testing two types of filters for my cameras, ones based on baader film and ones based on solar glass. So far the baader film filters have arrived and I did some early tests with the 2x TC on my 70-300L (extended, MF). Worked great. I could see detail in the sun spots. But the books do say that you get more diffusion of the light with the baader film than the solar glass.

    So, in the end, I will have baader film filters for both my 70-300 and 150-600S combo and solar glass for my 150-600S. I am debating if I will truly use the equatorial mount or just fire off shots off my tripod. I will also have binoculars and solar glasses with me. Of course, for totality, you remove the filter and as I think about what I want to capture, most of the shots are actually during totality. The filters are really only for a partial eclipse.

    So far, I can recommend the baader filters. I used a homemade baader film filter for the eclipse in 2012. The ones I am testing now seem even a bit better.

    BTW, the solar glass filters and equatorial mounts are selling out. You might want to move on those if tempted.

    Hope that helps.

  7. #47
    Senior Member Jayson's Avatar
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    Filter wise, I am making my own. I bought a 12x12 filter sheet and some cheap step up rings and am cutting gluing together. So far, good luck. I am going to do a little more testing today to see how it works, but so far I think this is going to work. Total cost was around $30. Travel wise, it is totality 1 hour south of Omaha, so I should be in good shape there. Have a nice little pond/rural location for the wide angle stuff and should have a telephoto ready to do the big boy stuff.

  8. #48
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    Not quite the same as Mid Idaho - will give up the reservation in twin falls - but have a photo friend who lives on the right side of a mt. in North Carolina that is in the totality so it looks like I will be in western N.C. vs. Idaho.

    I do think Tetons and Signal Mt would be great spot or in Grand Ventres (sp?) would also be cool
    If you see me with a wrench, call 911

  9. #49
    Senior Member Jonathan Huyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Busted Knuckles View Post
    Not quite the same as Mid Idaho - will give up the reservation in twin falls - but have a photo friend who lives on the right side of a mt. in North Carolina that is in the totality so it looks like I will be in western N.C. vs. Idaho.

    I do think Tetons and Signal Mt would be great spot or in Grand Ventres (sp?) would also be cool
    The odds of clear skies are a bit less favorable in NC, but who knows?
    http://eclipsophile.com/georgia-and-the-carolinas/

  10. #50
    Senior Member Jonathan Huyer's Avatar
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    Here's a good analysis of cloud-free probabilities that I came across in this article:

    http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy17osti/68885.pdf


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