How to Photograph the Solar Eclipse - Alan Dyer

How to Photograph the Solar Eclipse

By Alan Dyer

  • Release Date: 2017-02-22
  • Genre: Photography
5 Score: 5 (From 5 Ratings)
    e-Book format      Check For Availability Audiobook format   Check For Availability


UPDATE: With the eclipse now over, much of the book's content is no longer useful. However, Chapter 11 contains valuable tutorials on processing your eclipse images. As such, the book's price is now just $2.99, down from the original $9.99. Here's what's in the entire ebook.

Learn how to photograph the total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017, with a wide range of techniques and camera gear, from basic to advanced:

• Simple point-and-shoot and mobile phone cameras
• DSLR and Mirrorless still cameras
• Video cameras
• Wide-angle lenses and long telephotos
• Telescopes, both tracking the sky and untracked

In this 290-page ebook, you’ll learn:

• What to expect to see and what to shoot.
• How to shoot simple grab shots and eclipse “selfies.” 
• What types of cameras are best.
• What tripod features are best.
• What filters to use and when to remove them.
• How to shoot wide-angle still images.
• How to set up time-lapse sequences.
• How to frame scenes for time-lapses and composites. 
• How to plan great shots above scenic landmarks. 
• How to shoot close-ups of totality.
• What focal lengths are best for framing the Sun.
• What types of telescopes and mounts are best.
• How to align tracking mounts in the daytime.
• How to focus and avoid image blurring from sky motion.
• What the best exposures will be.
• When to shoot on auto exposure vs. manual.
• How to plan shoots with single or multiple cameras.
• How to automate a camera.
• Tips on last-minute moves to avoid clouds.
• What can go wrong and how to avoid the common mistakes.
• How to capture the eclipse and still see it!
• And finally … How to process your eclipse photos, from simple wide-angle scenes to complex multi-exposure stacks and composites

The ebook contains:

• Dozens of sky charts made specifically for the 2017 eclipse, and for both the eastern and western United States, to show how to frame the scene with a range of focal lengths, and for planning your shoot. 

• Active links to websites for equipment suppliers and for detailed eclipse maps and times for your site. 

• Step-by-step tutorials take you through processing, from basic developing of Raw files, to assembling time-lapse movies, and stacking images for composites, plus blending of multiple exposures with luminosity masks. 

What’s in the ebook:

Chapter 1: Introduction
• A summary of the techniques the book explains.

Chapter 2: The Eclipse Experience 
• What you will see and experience during the eclipse, with the naked eye and through optics. • Eclipse etiquette.

Chapter 3: Where to Go
• Where you need to be in the path of totality. • Plan B options.

Chapter 4: Eclipse Photo Fundamentals
• Choosing filters. • Shooting partial phases vs. totality.

Chapter 5: Shooting Wide-Angle Stills
• Choosing cameras (from simple to complex) and lenses. • Choosing exposures and other settings. • Framing options, for capturing easy but dramatic wide-angle scenes and panoramas.

Chapter 6: Shooting Close-Up Stills
• Choosing cameras, lenses, and telescopes for detailed close-ups. • Tracking mounts vs. untracked tripods. • Setting up a tracking telescope. • Focusing tips. • Recommended exposure sequences. • Framing the corona. • Practice tips for shooting the Moon.

Chapter 7: Shooting Time-Lapses
• Setting up wide-angle and close-up time-lapses. • Framing the motion of the Sun. • Tracking the Sun. • Controlling the camera.

Chapter 8: Shooting Video
• Video camera and lens options. • Setting exposures.

Chapter 9: Shooting Composites
• Planning a multiple exposure composite. • Framing the scene. • Wide-angle vs. close-up sequences.

Chapter 10: What Can Go Wrong?
• Common equipment and user malfunctions! • Checklists. • Operating multiple cameras and shooting plans. • Automating a camera. • Cloudy options. • Contingency plans.

Chapter 11: Processing Eclipse Images
• Workflows. • Photoshop basics. • Developing Raw images. • Processing wide-angle scenes and close-ups of the corona. • Processing time-lapse sequences. • Stacking composites. • Stacking and merging multi-exposure blends with HDR and luminosity masks. 

Chapter 12: Conclusion
• Advice for eclipse newbies. • Future eclipses. • Where to learn more – for detailed maps and information on your site. 

About the Author

Alan Dyer is a veteran of 15 total solar eclipses, shooting each one with a variety of camera and techniques. Alan writes for SkyNews and Sky and Telescope magazines. His eclipse images have been featured in many magazines and books, and his eclipse videos have been used in Discovery Channel TV documentaries. He is author of the ebook How to Photograph and Process Nightscapes and Time-Lapses and co-author of the widely acclaimed print book The Backyard Astronomer’s Guide. 


  • This book killed it. My photos are great.

    By BloopieBloopie
    I read and re-read this book. I practiced and practiced as instructed. Considered the warnings. I listened to advice on being mobile and drove 400+ miles the morning of from clouds to perfect skies. Result is I got fantastic photos beyond my skill. My only regret is not setting up Wide angle shot. But I did set up a video of the landscape as it changed colors. Thanks!!!
  • Tons of info for the beginner to advanced user.

    By Vickie from St. Charles Mo
    Well written with great illustrations and beautiful photos. I had a settings issue with my iPad and he helped me right away. Highly recommend.
  • Fantastic!

    By jken3
    This is a fabulous book on photographing the August 2017 eclipse. Very comprehensive. Much more details than I have found on any website. And very easy to understand. If you plan to photgraph the eclipse, you must buy this book!