Spring Equinox Solar Eclipse

(Click on the photo for added detail.)
Spring Equinox Solar Eclipse. (Click on the photo for added detail.)

Today’s photo took a bit of work. Much of this was anticipated, but some was not. I can safely say that this was a technically challenging photo, and I learned a few things processing it. It’s good to stretch one’s abilities every so often.

Obviously this is the photo of the eclipse that I mentioned last week. I wanted to create a photo with the solar trajectory during the eclipse (that I knew would take about two hours from first contact to fourth contact), with something interesting in the foreground. Initially I planned to go to Lapsi, but later decided that Dingli was a better choice. As usual with such things, The Photographer’s Ephemeris helped immeasurably in the planning stage. Given the sun’s elevation in late morning, I knew I’d need to use a very wide lens, which would also mean the sun would be a very small disk in the photo. Not much to do about that. And of course, given the sun’s intensity, I’d need to cover a huge exposure range between the sun, sky, and foreground.

On the day we drove up to Dingli, found a congenial spot behind the chapel dedicated to St Mary Magdalene, and set up. I covered the exposure difference between sun and sky as usual with grad filters. I also used a polariser to increase contrast (the glare down here is phenomenal, even this early in the year). To get the sun to be anything other than a starburst I had to bracket exposures. And based on the result, I should have bracketed even further. The end result is obviously a composite of multiple images: one for each time the sun appears, a few for the sky, and one for the foreground. I hope you like the result.



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