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May 20 Annular Solar Eclipse 2012

how to photograph an eclipse low ISO faster shutter small aperture

May 20, 2012 solar eclipse as viewed from ScienceWorks in Ashland, Oregon

I had planned to head down to Weed, California to photograph yesterday’s eclipse (as that is where the eclipse was supposed to be closest to 100% in the area), but a number of factors caused me to stay in Ashland instead. Even though the sun was behind clouds, that didn’t seem to change the view of the eclipse. It looked great through proper instruments including my Nikon D7000. I didn’t look through the viewfinder. Instead I used sunglasses and live view.

For best results in photographing an eclipse, reduce your ISO to 100, increase your shutter speed to maximum (1/8000 for the above photo), and use your smallest aperture possible (f/40 for the above photo).

The above photo is as total as the eclipse got in Southern Oregon, better than expected with sun coming around all parts of the moon (annulus) even if the moon wasn’t perfectly centered.

scienceworks eclipse party ashland oregon

Eclipse viewers at Ashland's ScienceWorks

A surprise appeared on the wall behind me as the tree’s shadow showed signs of the eclipse as the eclipse progressed. The crescent moon shadow pieces in the tree’s shadow were only there as the eclipse approached its annulus stage.

tree shadows turn strange during eclipse

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