Black Hole Sun-2017 Eclipse trip

I had the opportunity to drive to Nebraska for the Total solar eclipse this past August to view it as it passed over in the path of totality just outside Alliance. My plan was to go to Car Henge, however that was a zoo of humanity by the time I arrived. So, I headed a little south and found a spot off the highway about 5 minutes before the event. I have never shot any type of eclipse before, so I was really winging it with how to set up the camera for success. I employed my Nikon D810 with a #2 ND filter on my 80-200 on a Gitzo tripod. It worked well considering how quickly it all took place. The whole event lasted maybe 2.5 minutes and then the traffic jam started. So Many cars! I was lucky to know the area and escape out a few back roads that most don’t know about. Alliance behind me, I made tracks to another destination-The Badlands National Park for a little night shooting before heading back to Minneapolis. It was a perfect night as right after the eclipse was the new moon. A completely dark night in a completely dark space. I even took the opportunity to do a little light painting trick on my car utilizing my iPhone as my weapon of choice. I do this trick by setting my camera up for either a 30 second exposure or BULB if I need more time. The lens is generally set to infinity. I take a base exposure set for the ambient scene at an ISO between 1600-4000 depending upon my intent. Once I get that set, I can start the trial and error that is light painting. I find the key to success is dark clothes, moving quick and flagging the light from the lens. That way the camera won’t see you. And a little magic pops up on your screen after a few attempts. Enjoy=)

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