Weekly Top Pics

2017 Solar Eclipse Edition: Stefan Seville

Congratulations to Stefan Seville for capturing these stellar images of the total solar eclipse. On August 21st, 2017 the eclipse was visible from coast to coast across the United States in 100 years! Check out how he shot these rare photos.

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The chance to experience (and shoot) totality of a solar eclipse, and so close to home, was not to be missed.

Stefan grabbed three of his cameras, all purchased from KEH Camera, and captured this photo at the Donaldson Airport, South Carolina.

Technicalities:

Composite: The 12 frames surrounding totality were shot with the D500 setup at 400mm, f/8, 1/2000″, through the Baader solar filter. Clouds came and went during most of the first half of the eclipse, hence the slightly murky disks on the left side of the image. Totality’s frame was on the D7000/Sigma combo at 600mm, f/8, 1/250″, no filter. Photoshop was used to merge the 13 images together, with the grid tool’s aid in aligning them.

Close-up of totality, with solar prominence: D7000/Sigma 150-600 at 600mm, f/8 and 1/500″, no filter. These contained solar flares were a lovely surprise to find when filtering through the pictures on the ride home. Exposure compensation adjusted in photoshop to enhance prominences.

Wide angle: D7000/Tokina 12-24 at 12mm, f/11, 4″, no filter. Slight adjustment of shadows/highlights in Photoshop.

Even if you have a second-by-second plan rehearsed with a seasoned astrophotographer to the point of autonomy, there is no way to prepare yourself properly to shoot a total solar eclipse. As ready as I thought I was for it, I caught myself overwhelmed – not with the task of getting the images I wanted, but by the disorienting sensations that accompany totality.  The shadow bands shimmering across the airport ramp, the hangar floodlights activated by the darkness, the temperature differential between my feet (feeling the still-hot pavement) and my body (immersed in the suddenly still, cool air) – there is so much more to an eclipse than the celestial spectacle itself. As a photographer, the only other time I’ve felt the adrenaline shatter my nerves like it did on August 21st was when I shot the final Space Shuttle landing in 2011. I’ve already put in a request for the day off work on April 8, 2024 – Niagara Falls, anyone?

I am by no means a professional photographer – a “deeply entrenched hobbyist” would be a better label. All the equipment used for the eclipse (minus the solar filter) was purchased from KEH Camera. 90% of what I shoot has wings, skates or cleats attached, and this was my first foray into astrophotography. I volunteer as a Correspondent for Aviation Photojournal – The BEST in aviation and military photography, and run (poorly) a Facebook page for my own work

Thank you Stefan for allowing us to share these amazing images! Would you like to be featured on our blog? Tag #KEHSpotlight in your best images for a chance.

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