Friday, May 25, 2012

Solar Eclipse Photos!

For those of you who didn't hear, we had a 94% solar eclipse last Sunday and a few people were able to capture some pretty cool photos of the event.

Here are a few favorite images from our students who sent over Eclipse images!
A Great Collage from Pat Brown showing the progression of the Eclipse.

Jim Radford- Holes!

Jim Radford- The Technique

Jim Radford got creative! Setting up a piece of tinfoil attached to a box and poked several holes into it. He then photographed the shadow of the eclipse on a gray card he placed on an old tripod! Very creative and out of the "box" thinking to show the progression of the eclipse. 

Pete Scifres

It is always good to mix it up a bit and bring in that foreground element. A very strange out of this world feel. Thanks Pete! 

 Love it! The "rays" of the sun are just incredible.

 I would like to know everyone's specs and explanation on how you photographed your photos. If you can enter comments below to add to the post!

Thank you everyone for sending in your images! I wish I could post them all! Looking forward to our next photo adventure where we can learn, improve and take our photography to the next level!
Fiat Lux and happy shooting!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Photographing the Solar Eclipse
By Hal Schmitt

Remember to scout and plan your 20 May eclipse photo-shoot ahead of time.  Things you might want to include in your process: determine when the eclipse will happen in your time zone, determine the sun azimuth and elevation of the sun during the eclipse, plan and frame your shot/composition, determine your solar filter requirements, and take a series of test shots to validate your exposure.
If you wait until the eclipse starts to figure all of this out you might be a bit behind.

Read more on NASA's website for the technical data on the eclipse and where the best viewing regions will be. Who knows! It could be the best in your area!
For those of you photographing the eclipse please submit your images for us to see. The best images will be posted on the blog!
Email them to and size to 400x600 px (or close to that).
 -Happy Shooting!

Fiat Lux!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Long Lens + Stability = Great Performance

 Canon 1D Mk IV, EF 800mm f/5.6L 1/320, f/5.6, ISO 400

Both of the shots above were captured with a Canon 1D Mk IV and a Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L.  The image of the mountain goats used a shutter speed of 1/500 and the bear was even slower at 1/320. I could have easily increased the shutter speeds by increasing my ISO but I was trying for the cleanest image I could possibly get.

Canon 1D Mk IV, EF 800mm f/5.6L 1/500, f/5.6, ISO 400

Such shutter speeds are definitely possible but when on a moving boat and compared with an effective focal length of 1040mm, the results are impressive.  I used the image stabilizer in Mode 1 which helped significantly but the real reason I could shoot with certainty at lower shutter speeds is my support setup.

I used a Really Right Stuff camera support setup including TVC-33 tripod, PG-02 gimbal head, and a long lens support package as depicted in the images below.

TVC-33, PG-02, and Long Lens Support Package

If you are a long lens shooter give yourself the advantage of perfect support.  I often say there is not a gear/technology solution to every problem but in this case I could not have made the same shot without it.  When combined with a good foundation in exposure and camera/lens functionality, the support system makes a nice trifecta!

TVC-33, PG-02, and Long Lens Support Package

Fiat Lux!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Get Low Part II

Last week, I showed a panorama of a few bergs in SE Alaska.  Interestingly, as I was shooting the bergs someone shot me.  This image gives you an idea of getting low.  Sometimes to get a different angle you might need to get a little bit wet, muddy, dirty, cold, etc.

Fiat Lux!