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[OM] Minimalist eclipse photography

Subject: [OM] Minimalist eclipse photography
From: Peter Klein <boulanger.croissant@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2024 17:18:59 -0700
My cousin lives in Austin. This gave us a good excuse to visit for the total solar eclipse Monday. It was my second total eclipse. My primary objective was to experience it, not to photograph. But then I thought, "how can I not?" So I decided to preset the camera for a middle corona exposure during totality, pre-focus manually, tape the focus ring in place, and take a few casual shots.  I used my Olympus E-M1 Mark II and the "Plastic Fantastic" 40-150 f/4-5.6 lens. That's 300mm in full-frame terms. No tripod--I relied on image stabilization. No messing with the camera once totality started.

The weather in Austin was very iffy. So we headed north and west, using a NY Times page that gave hourly cloudiness predictions. An "Eclipse App" proved even better, and we changed our destination at the last minute, just like real eclipse chasers. We ended up in the little town of Meridian, TX. We were treated to clear skies around the sun throughout totality.

I took a couple of shots of the partial phase. I didn't have a solar filter, so I just shot through a spare pair of eclipse glasses. Crude, but effective.


And then... totality! My minimalist setup actually captured hints of the red solar prominences. I messed with post-processing exposure and contrast to show various parts of the corona.

We enjoyed the town, too, with its ornate county courthouse.

Of course, I could have done better with a longer lens or telescope, a tripod, an equatorial mount, and exposure bracketing sequences. But that would have taken up much more time and concentration, which I wanted to devote to viewing the eclipse. So, "I did it my way."

Click or double click on photos to enlarge and shrink. Enjoy!

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