Solar eclipse photo with scenery

bfluegiebfluegie Big grinsIndianaRegistered Users Posts: 637 Major grins

Trying to get a good view of last week’s partial solar eclipse (couldn’t get to Canada for the full show) has me thinking about trying to photograph the 2023 annular and 2024 total solar eclipses. Using the solar filters I got from Thousand Oaks Optical, the only thing I could observe was the sun. I could see where clouds obscured the sun but I couldn’t see the clouds at all. That makes sense given how much attenuation these filters have. But I also have seen some photos showing a partial or annular eclipsed sun with clouds or other scenery. Here’s a link to one example, about half way down the page. Last week I could get some unfiltered photos when the sun was at the horizon, but that won't be the case in 2023 or 2024.

So, I am wondering how to achieve a similar result. Is this a composite with parts of the sun masked out? Or was it taken with an ND filter instead of the solar filter and then highlights pulled down? I’m thinking it’s likely a composite with the sun as the top layer and then a masking layer applied where the cloud is. Then maybe a color layer applied to the scene to fit in with the sun. My photoshop skills are pretty minimal so I’m kind of grasping here. But I do have over two years to practice. Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks.

~~Barbara

Comments

  • David_S85David_S85 Spotter of Dgrin Spam and Oddities ChicagolandAdministrators Posts: 12,795 moderator

    I've shot a total eclipse with the Thousand Oaks silverized solar filter (77mm) and I can't imagine anything with lower intensity than the brightest sunlight getting exposed through that. I'm guessing the filters used to get other objects on horizons were either some near maximum ND's and/or composite shooting.

    Shot with T.O. filter, though the photos seen here were with the filter off during the minute of total. https://www.davidwattsphotography.com/Other/Totally-Solar/

    My Smugmug
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" - Wayne Gretzky
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaSuper Moderators Posts: 14,601 moderator
    edited June 20, 2021

    The last image on the page associated with the "Here's the link" was not shot using a solar filter. As David said, you won't see anything other than the sun through a solar filter -

    But during totality, or very close to totality with an annular solar eclipse, one can photograph without a filter, or with neutral density filter for a few minutes and seconds of totality. I think that's how that image was captured - or it could have been an HDR capture, but the solar surface is so much brighter than sunlit earth objects, I doubt that works very well.

    Like David I shot the solar eclipse in August of 2017, I shot from Glendo Wyoming, with a m4/3 body and a 100-400 mm lens

    https://pathfinder.smugmug.com/Landscapes/Other/Total-Solar-Eclipse-August-21-2017-Glendo-Wyoming/

    I anticipate shooting the 2024 total solar eclipse from my backyard and having 3 minutes and 1 second of totality. Longer than I had in Glendo Wy 😎 Clouds are a possibility in Indiana, but if we're clouded out, much of the US may be a s well..

    I see you're a Hoosier too, Bfluegie

    When I checked the location of the sun at 1:48pm on April 8th, this spring, It was almost directly overhead from my backyard, so from Indiana we're not going to see ground-based foreground material, I think.

    https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/map/2024-april-8

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • bfluegiebfluegie Big grins IndianaRegistered Users Posts: 637 Major grins

    Thanks for the responses @David_S85 and @pathfinder. You have some pretty awesome photos from 2017. Here's a link to mine, nowhere near as good.
    https://bfluegie.smugmug.com/Other/Solar-Eclipse-2017-final/

    Pathfinder, I think you're right that the photo I linked isn't filtered at all. I was able to shoot last week's partial solar eclipse at sunrise briefly without a filter, but there were a lot of clouds and the distance through the atmosphere is longer at sunrise. Even then, part of the sun was overexposed, but I'm sure that was operator error. This was taken with a Nikon D7200 and 300mm lens, then cropped. Also, I focused on the most distant clouds to have the best shot at having the sun and moon in focus and the 6.7 mile distant lighthouse ended up out of focus. Or maybe that's just from the morning hazy lake air.

    I also had my D90 set up with about a 60mm lens to do an "all in one" shot, starting with an unfiltered crescent sunrise and then adding a bunch of shots taken with the solar filter. I was less than impressed with my results. I used screen blending mode to remove the black background, but maybe I need to play around with it a little more.

    And while I do live in Indiana, I'm on the north side of Fort Wayne, about 15 miles outside the totality zone for 2024. So backyard viewing isn't going to happen for me. I may invite myself to my brother's in Muncie, or I may try to avoid clouds and go to Texas. Even in Mazatlán Mexico the eclipse will start around 11:00 local time and totality around noon, so I agree that for the 2024 eclipse there won't be an opportunity for ground based foreground photos. I might try an "across the sky" composite. But I'm also planning on trying to photograph the 14 October 2023 annular eclipse and Oregon, Nevada and Utah might have some possibilities for foreground compositions. I've been using this website to get an idea of sun azimuth and elevation for possible observation locations.
    xjubier.free.fr/en/site_pages/solar_eclipses/xSE_GoogleMap3.php?Ecl=+20240408&Acc=2&Umb=1&Lmt=1&Mag=1&Max=1&Lat=29.31039&Lng=-100.09629&Zoom=5&LC=1
    Zoom in and click on a location to get eclipse info about that location.

    ~~Barbara
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaSuper Moderators Posts: 14,601 moderator
    edited July 11, 2021

    I'm not sure we should expect an image of the solar radiant surface to not be overexposed in most images we capture. The light intensity is so much, much, much, MUCH brighter on the sun's surface, than any object illuminated by the suns light, that to expect to see both radiant levels in an image on paper, or even on a an HDR monitor is kind of a fool's errand, isn't it?

    I do understand that astronomer's can capture the image data from the surface of the sun, but they are orders of magnitude different from any Earth based sunlit object.

    I am certain there will be places to view the total solar eclipse near Vincennes or Bloomington or somewhere along the shore of Lake Monroe that you could work from. My main concern is weather, and clouds along the US path of totality.

    I liked your stop frame movie - one has to have shot the eclipse to really gather how great the exposure changes from an increasing annular eclipse, to moment when the sun finally reaches totality. Well done!

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • David_S85David_S85 Spotter of Dgrin Spam and Oddities ChicagolandAdministrators Posts: 12,795 moderator

    Here's a link to an APOD post from 6/28 that might explain better an answer to the OP's post and question...

    https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html
    then go back and find the photo from June 28, 2021.

    My Smugmug
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" - Wayne Gretzky
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaSuper Moderators Posts: 14,601 moderator

    This composite image you mean??

    https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap210628.html

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • bfluegiebfluegie Big grins IndianaRegistered Users Posts: 637 Major grins

    Ok, that's really cool. I'm not sure I want to spring for a solar telescope, but you never know. But it does give me the idea to try some off the wall exposures the next time I try to photograph a solar eclipse. That'll be the annular in October 2023. I'll also try the second camera wide angle setup again.

    ~~Barbara
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