How to (not) shoot a solar eclipse

solar eclipse

I went searching and found a few pages describing how to shoot the sun during a solar eclipse. All warned against looking at the sun directly.

So, I ignored all that advice and got out my 75-300mm lens and grabbed a couple of shots of the sun with a chunk bitten out of it by the moon. Thankfully the clouds provided a bit of a filter but my eyes are still watering a bit. Worth it?

With hindsight, what the hell was I thinking? I’m lucky my eye is fine, but if you’re going to shoot a solar eclipse, don’t look through the viewfinder. Set your camera up on a tripod and project an image of the sun on a white sheet of cardboard and then press the shutter button. Much safer than actually looking..

Aperture ƒ/45
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 300mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/8000s

Looking for a parking space

Looking for a parking space

You’re in town and desperately looking for a parking place. Where do you go? All the on-street parking has either been removed because of road works or taken by everyone who went shopping at 9am. Just look up. There’s a multi storey carpark somewhere near you. Probably.

Front of the car park on The Grand Parade. Shot after I said goodbye to Phil and the others a few weeks ago.

Aperture ƒ/13
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 200
Shutter speed 1/400s

Biosphere 2

Biosphere 2 lies in the dusty hot desert in Arizona. It was originally designed as a self contained “world” where scientists stayed for an extended period of time. After going through the tour, there’s no way I’d volunteer to spend my time inside. It must have been very difficult being cooped up in one building. The Wikipedia page on the project has a lot more detail about what went on there.

Anyway, the building is very striking to look at, especially as the day was fine and interesting clouds added to the scene.

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/200s

Traffic must go left

Air traffic goes that way

Traffic must go left. This is one of those shots that has sat in TODO folder for ages and ages because I liked it, but it was sorely in need of some work. I probably cheated by making it black and white.

Shot down at Cork Docklands about 13 months ago.

Aperture ƒ/9
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 200
Shutter speed 1/160s

Rushing through countryside

rushing through countryside

I shot this through the window of our car while driving back to the ranch after Automattic’s trip to Biosphere 2 in Arizona a few months ago. I love how the foreground blurs but the background and the sky remain motionless and static. Love the movement.

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 22mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/100s

Windswept Cliff

Windswept Cliff

Rough grass clings to the headland near Mizen Head in West Cork as waves crash on the cliffs far below. On the day I took this it was a lovely warm, sunny day, but I Love the effect black and white has on this scene. It sends a chill through me looking at it, especially the original full size image.

Looking forward to the Doneraile photowalk tomorrow. I hope this nice sunny weather holds. The sun isn’t overbearing, and the sky is interesting with wispy clouds. As I said before, if you’re not sure you’ll make it for 3pm, get in touch and I’ll email you my phone number. My wife and I are bringing a small picnic, sandwiches and a flask for tea so bring some food if you think you’ll be peckish!

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/200s

Misty Morning Bird

Misty Morning Bird

What were you doing at 5:52am this bright Sunday morning? Fast asleep? Our little boy Adam had us up and about bright and early. Bleary eyed parents who read this will I’m sure agree that it’s a shame young kids don’t realise the weekend is for sleeping in.

I would have missed this shot though so I’m thankful he was up this early. The fog is gone now, burned off by the early morning sun, I’ve already been out with both Adam and Oscar and brought home a couple of good photos. I’m a bit tired now, more then 3 hours later at 9.30am as I write this. Adam is asleep and I’m going for a nap shortly. zzzzz.

Aperture ƒ/13
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 125mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/640s