Magic Wand

Equipment Info
-1/1 sec. / ISO 100
Nearest Area
Central Oregon

Taken August 213st, 2017 from Madras, Oregon

Sony a7ii
Canon EF 24-105L
Foreground/totality: 35mm, f/8, ISO 100, 2s
Filtered Suns (x25): 35mm, f/8, ISO 100, 1/500th, 1 exposure every 3 minutes, used Orion solar filter

Stacked using Lighten mode in Photopshop CC


For this solar eclipse sequence from Madras, Oregon, I took an exposure every three minutes with a solar filter on a zoom lens set at 35mm. Then, of course, I took off the filter during totality and shot a couple sets of five different auto-bracketed exposures covering a wide range of shutter speeds, to make sure I got one or more with proper exposure (since it's hard to know the proper exposure for a totally eclipsed Sun in advance). The shot of the totally eclipsed Sun with the foreground was a 2-second exposure. Then I layered in the 25 other Sun shots (1/500th second each) in Photoshop with a quick stacking method. I opted not to do the "other side" of the sequence after totality, because to do that I would have had to use a shorter focal length, maybe 24mm or 28mm, to fit it all in, and the solar disks would have been even tinier.

I'm amazed I even had the presence of mind to work the camera during totality at all. Because when I glanced up and caught the surreal sight of the first diamond ring, it took a team of wild horses, practically, to tear my gaze away and get to work! What a gorgeous, spine tingling spectacle.

Visually, this composition reminds me of a magic wand. It's a fitting metaphor, perhaps, because a total eclipse certainly does cast a wondrous spell on all who witness it.

- Steve Peters
August 21, 2017

Date Added
August 23, 2017
Date Taken
August 23, 2017