- My Drone:
- DJI Mavic Pro – http://amzn.to/2h2Kz9p
- Other Drones:
- Part 107 Drone License Free Studying:
- Part 107 Drone License PAID Studying:
- YouTube Subscriptions worth checking out:
- Flight Restriction Research
I read A LOT about photographing the 2017 eclipse. I’m glad I did. I managed to come away with a few shots I’m proud of. And now that the 2ish minutes of taking photos of the totality are likely over for the next 7 years… I thought I’d put down some thoughts for myself to reference later, and anyone else thinking of trying to capture some amazing pictures of a total solar eclipse in their area.
Links that I referenced:
- Total Solar Eclipse 2017 – Start Page
- How to Photograph a Solar Eclipse
- Preparing for the August 2017 Total Solar Eclipse | NASA
- Views of the Total Solar Eclipse – The New York Times
- 2017 Total Solar Eclipse
- NASA – Solar Eclipse Photography
- Canon DLC: Article: A Total Guide to Totality: Solar Eclipse Photography
- Ptotographing sun / solar eclipse. ND filters. 100mm square filters.: Open Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
- Guide to Photographing the Solar Eclipse
- Single guide to eclipse photography
- Solar Eclipse | B&H GUIDE
- Phases of a total solar eclipse
I had a difficult time using my remote trigger and bracketed shots. Sometimes it would fire off all three and stop (like I think it should) and other times it’d get one or two shots into the next set. This causes an issue where you can’t change settings on the camera until you finish out the bracketed set. This caused me to take a lot of extra photos at the same exposure, while frantically trying to figure out where in the group of three I was. Then when I started to adjust the camera, I went the wrong way, and took shots at very long exposure settings that resulted in washed out useless images.
The blurriness from Image9 could be caused by slightly off focus, or the slightly long exposure time. Many images I took seem to be slightly out of focus- and the two changes I would make for next time would be shooting for shorter and shorter exposure times, as well as shooting tethered to a laptop with a large (and well shaded) screen for instant feedback. The infinite focus on my lens was technically too far, and I had to bring it back just a little to get the sun in focus correctly. If this was bumped, it could throw the next few sets of photos way out of whack. I was constantly checking the focus. Some gaffer tape to lock down the focus might be a good idea for next time, once I am confident it’s dialed in.
I think a big part of the chaos was not knowing where to start the camera. Once I removed the eclipse filter- I had no idea what kind of exposures were going to be needed. Hopefully, the info in this post can assist myself and others as a starting point for a future eclipse. Image1-Image3 and Image10 were all using an eclipse filter. Image4-Image9 were unobstructed, as we were in totality. (Image9 of the diamond ring is technically NOT during totality- and my filter when back on immediately after that photo was snapped.)
200mm seemed to work well. I shot at f/5.0, for no reason other than to stay away from the limits of the lens. I might open that up some more next time, or research that a little bit more to see if I can, to get better shutter speeds.
I’m still on the fence if this would have made for more amazing photos: Opteka 650-1300mm (with 2x- 1300-2600mm) — The f-stop would be atrocious if there was any zooming at all, although it can be argued that going over 650mm is useless if you want to capture corona during the totality. The graphic from MrEclipse.com should be referenced for this debate in the future:
MrEclipse also has a great chart for recommended shutter speeds.
Overall, taking photos of the initial phases of the eclipse with the eclipse filter on was easy. Plenty of time, conditions not changing that much, very little to actually worry about preparing for. The totality time is what brings all the stress, regrets, and thoughts for next time.
Some extra frequencies to try out:
IMS Primary 469.900
IndyCar Officials 468.8250 / 464.1750
TV Broadcast 454.4000 / 450.8875
Radio Broadcast 454.0000
PA 455.1375 / 450.1375
Track Fire/Rescue 451.6875
NWS Weather 162.550
Goodyear Blimp 151.625
Air Traffic 118.675
Military Flyover 317.800
Life Line 155.160
MEC TA1 Analog/P25 Talkaround 811.350
If you’ve wanted to listen in to team radio and track announcements- now you can do it yourself for about the same price as rental! Plus you’ll be able to do it every year afterwards at no extra cost.
>>> View Frequencies List <<<
>>> Bonus Frequencies to Try <<<
Cars are input on channels that correspond with their number. So if you see a car pulling into the pits, or watching the lead change- perhaps a crash just happened- you should be able to type in the car number into your radio to skip directly to that frequency. All car and track frequencies are set with “Duplex off” to avoid accidentally transmitting on these frequencies.
I use CHIRP to program my Baofeng radio, and then export it to a CSV file that anyone else can use to import, or use as reference for a different programming method. You are free to use it and share with your family and friends. All driver frequencies are taken from the official spotters guide. Additionally, I have added in frequencies that in the past have included the PA system, race officials, broadcast radio feed, and TV feeds. Some of these might not work- but they are there to experiment with. (Channels 116-127)
I’ve added the NOAA weather frequency on channel 000 for this year.
Finally- my export includes local Indianapolis repeaters and national calling frequencies for HAM operators. You must hold a Armature Radio License in order to transmit on these frequencies- but you can always listen! (Channels 100-115) (Learn more about obtaining your HAM license here)
Don’t have the gear to listen this year? It’s not too late. Amazon has everything you need- and if you’re in Indy- you can get free SAME DAY delivery if you’re a Prime member.
Adapter to make Headphones work
Howard Leight 1030110 Sync Noise-Blocking Stereo Earmuff (Same day Prime eligible)
Howard Leight by Honeywell 1010390 Hi-Vis Radio and MP3 Ear Muff (built in radio)
3M TEKK WorkTunes Hearing Protector, MP3 Compatible with AM/FM Tuner
Earbuds – use your own, and then add some standard headphone ear protection (saftey, and better ability to hear radio transmissions)
3M Peltor H10A Optime 105 Earmuff (hearing protection only- use your own earbuds)
Download Chirp here: http://chirp.danplanet.com/projects/chirp/wiki/Download
Learn how to install Chirp and necessary drivers here: http://www.miklor.com/COM/UV_CHIRP.php
The Miklor site is the best out there for Baofeng info! http://www.miklor.com/
(Other Chirp compatible radios)
If you already own or want to buy something other than the Baofengs listed above- the Chirp software should be able to program any of the following radios.