Last week I visited South Carolina to photograph the solar eclipse. In a word, it was: EPIC!
The photos speak for themselves, but the process of capturing them is also exciting. My family planned the trip to Charleston about two months ago at which point I began seeking out tutorials for photographing the eclipse. I also started looking at gear to purchase/rent. Ultimately, I bought a couple sheets of solar filter. At $29 per sheet, this option was much cheaper, and versatile for different lenses, than the $100+ screw-on filters.
Unfortunately, I procrastinated on renting lenses. It turns out all of the rental houses are devoid of lenses longer than 300mm less than a week before a solar eclipse. Who knew!? I briefly contemplated buying a $11.5K 600mm lens from Best Buy. Given that I don’t need this lens, and Best Buy has a 15% restocking fee, I decided against this option. $1725 is a bit much for a lens rental! I ended up shooting with my 70-200mm f/2.8 at 200mm.
I’m happy with the results, but I will be better prepared for the next eclipse in 2023. Next time I would love to get a time lapse spanning the time from when the moon first begins its transit across the sun until the point that it has completely passed. We had too much cloud cover in Charleston, so we spent some time driving to escape the clouds. I’d also like to do some HDR photos with the next eclipse. One photograph I have seen captures the full eclipse along with some of the texture of the moon!
This trip also included visits to Atlanta, Georgia and Columbia, South Carolina, so be on the lookout for photos of those capitols.