Solar Eclipse Photos … Or, How I Burned My Retinas and Lived to Tell About It

My bride and groom weren’t ready for photos yet on Sunday, and I was all set up for their reception. That’s when my friend Brad texted me, “Are you eclipsing?”  So I scooted out to a sun deck at the Hilton Anaheim to see what I could catch.

My first couple tries (with equipment not designed to photograph celestial bodies) were lackluster at best. Even with my camera’s settings at the smallest of sensitivities possible (ISO 50, 1/8000, f32), I was getting lots of hazing and flare. I had no proof, but the cautious nerd inside was sure it was about to ruin my sensor without some filtration.

Then a very generous woman from Wisconsin, who was at the hotel for a quality control convention, asked if I wanted to look through her $1 viewing glasses. Heck yeah!

The one above is my favorite, seen through the viewing shades and a collection of drinking glasses set up for the reception.

I backed out a little bit … there’s the glasses and the side of the Anaheim Hilton.

Janet, on the right, lent me the glasses. Thank you, Janet, you made my day!

PS: Look at that beautiful lens hood I left on the table. I had a chat once with some photogs at the paper where I used to work, and we were laughing about what we always seemed to get into the frame by accident. One guy said it was his whole camera bag, which would accidentally end up on the front page more often than he cared to admit.


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