Reflections on the 2017 Solar Eclipse from Seward, Nebraska
I suppose now is as good a time as any to sit back and think about the solar eclipse a bit!
I had originally planned to go to Beatrice. But due to the weather report the night before, Beatrice called for rain so we decided to go to Seward instead. Fortunately for us, my wife Leeza’s great uncle owns the Rivoli Theater in Seward. He let us up on the rooftop, so I set up shop there.
One of the most common questions (next to what settings I use) I get is what equipment I use. Here is my list:
- Manfrotto tripod + grip head
- Canon 5d Mark III (no longer available)
- Canon 2x Teleconverter version II
- Canon 70-200mm IS f/2.8L version II
- Solar filter
- Canon shutter release
This was me:
Testing on the go
I spent a lot of time testing exposures to trying and figure out the best exposure for each moment of the eclipse. The trouble I had with exposure was the clouds. As clouds passed over the sun, the exposure changed, so there was a LOT of exposure changes throughout the entire eclipse. For the amateur photographer, this would have made the experience impossible without any professional guidance.
When entering totality, I took off the solar filter and changed the exposure yet again to nighttime photography, which made everything dark to be able to expose for the eclipse. The only regret I had was not being able to catch the skyline of 360-degree sunset all around. I was trapped on the roof so I couldn’t get down and capture the totality from the ground. Skyline: everywhere I looked it was sunset. I’ve never seen blues or oranges like that. Bats started flying out of the chimney, birds started to fly back to their nests. One of my friends (J. Michael McBride) said he heard coyotes in Syracuse where he went. Unfortunately, he didn’t get any eclipse photos but was able to capture the sunset.
I’m still happy with what I captured.
I’m already making plans to head to Illinois for 2024 totality. I’ll have two cameras set up for that. 🙂