Eclipse News

What is the Best Book About Photographing the Eclipse?

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If you are looking for the best reference book about photographing the eclipse your search is over.  Alan Dyer’s new e-book How to Photograph the Solar Eclipse: A Guide to Capturing the 2017 Total Eclipse of the Sun has all the information, photographs, diagrams and tutorials you will require to snap your own eclipse photographs, from wide field vistas with earth below and eclipse above to close-ups through a telescope on a tracking mount.

Alan is well-known in the astronomy community and is an author, astro/nightscape/time lapse photographer and host of astronomy related presentations and workshops.  His incredible photographs have appeared in Universe Today, National Geographic, Time, Astronomy Picture of the Day, and Spaceweather.com.  Alan is associate editor of SkyNews – Canada’s magazine of star gazing – and a contributing editor of Sky and Telescope.

Alan is perhaps best known for The Backyard Astronomer’s Guide, authored with Terence Dickinson and first printed in 1992.  Now in its third edition, I wore the covers off my copy when I first decided to try astrophotography fifteen years ago and had to buy a second copy.

For any of you interested in astronomy I highly recommend purchasing this book.  The book covers not only photography and the best scopes / mounts and accessories for beginners, but is the reference for basics on the finding your way around the night sky, what you can expect when viewing through telescopes and much, much more.  Alan and Terence will answer all your questions in The Backyard Astronomer’s Guide.

 

Watcha Git

The first three chapters of How to Photograph the Solar Eclipse are a great introduction to the coming eclipse.  Eclipse fundamentals are covered, as well as page-by-page descriptions of what you can expect to see through eclipse glasses and through a telescope.  The chapter entitled Where To Go has plenty of useful tips and information and with links to numerous websites and interactive state maps of totality.

Chapter 4 (Eclipse Photo Fundaments) introduces what we are here for – photographing the eclipse.  The majority of it is devoted to safe solar filters for photographing the eclipse, when  to remove them for totality and how to find the sun and get it on your sensor (sounds easy, not so much).  The next several chapters are devoted to types of photos, equipment, lenses and telescopes.

  • Shooting Wide Angle Stills:  Whether you plan on using your smartphone, point and shoot camera or a DSLR, this chapter will guide you through options, framing, including landscape, best lenses to use and setting exposures.

 

  • Shooting Close-Up Stills:  Here we take a deep dive on the meat and potatoes of eclipse photography, using a telephoto lens or a telescope.  Alan discusses in depth the challenges of shooting at longer focal lengths including sensor / image size, tripods and mounts, choosing telescopes, the sun’s motion and the basics of tracking devices and mounts.  This section ends with the all important topic of focus, a detailed section on setting exposures and the first of several Practice on the Moon pages.  These are great tips for testing your equipment and practicing your technique so you are ready for action on the Big Day.

 

  • The next several chapters approach their topics with the same thoroughness as the above – Shooting Time Lapse, Shooting Video and Composites.  I particularly recommend the Composites chapter for information on shooting wide and close up composites of multiple images.

 

  • What Can Go Wrong? is self-explanatory and vital to read.  Got a checklist?  If not, this section will tell you why you should.

 

  • Whether you are new to Photoshop or a seasoned expert, don’t miss Chapter 11.  Here are screen shots, examples and step-by-step instructions on processing your eclipse photographs into the calendar shots you were hoping to snag.

 

  • The final chapter is full of other resources for the budding eclipse photographer – websites, books, interactive maps, information on upcoming eclipses and much more.

Order your copy for only $9.99 at AmazingSky.com

Also available at AmazingSky.com are The Backyard Astronomer’s Guide in hard cover and How to Photograph & Process Nightscapes & Time Lapses as an e-book

 

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