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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Eclipse

Not the best shots, but did start capturing the solar eclipse and had to give up in the middle.




Why?

The kids insisted on "bike riding as a family". So all four of us decided to ride a bike during the solar eclipse. It was interesting because we saw so many people in our street with video cameras on tripods and special glasses staring at the sun.

They probably all thought we were a weird family to go biking and ignoring a once in a lifetime event. Little did they know about my frustration.

People scared me about two things

1. Do Not look into the sun directly
2. Do not take pictures with the camera by trying to zoom into sun as it will damage your image sensor..

First I tried to cover the lens with some dark polythene. That created a large flare. Then decided to use my extender (which is a 2x) on my 70-200 mm f2.8 L (this is a 2000 dollar piece of glass) and initially San was giving me the look and saying "I hope you know what you are doing because you are not going to get any camera replacement money from this family!"




The thing becomes pretty bulky at this point, so a tripod is a must. (Incidentally, shot the hummingbirds kissing using this setup.. you can stay far enough from animals, birds and snakes and get shots with a 400mm setup as long as it is bright outside).

Now the extender puts the 200 f2.8 at 400 f5.6! Gets the sun pretty close. So I used a remote trigger and instead of staring at the sun directly, stared at it indirectly and took shots at 1/8000 seconds and f22 with an ISO set to 100. Pretty much pushed the exposure to bare minimum to get these shots. Also used a gap between branches in a tree to get the shots so that the Image sensor did not overload. Then cropped the images.

Next time there is a solar eclipse, going to leave home, hit the mountains and get some welders glass or the right polarizing and ND filter combinations and take photographs! (My CEO took some really neat shots using this method. He had to adjust the white balance. I didn't have to, but the effect is much better on his shots!)



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