To witness a solar eclipse is a once in a lifetime experience and to photograph two within 2 years is an amazing opportunity to leverage your experience to create incredible imagery. Ted Hesser was able to garner a second opportunity with the 2019 eclipse and put his ideas into motion with only weeks to spare before this year's eclipse to gather ideas and compose images that engage our humanity within the cosmos.
The image was created with a Nikon Z7 mirrorless camera and a Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6 PF ED VR lens with a Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E-III to shoot with a long enough focal length that the eclipse itself was prominent in the frame. Having scouted the area in Chile for several days with the Nomad Film team and the use of Photopills, they were able to gather the details that would allow a blending of the cosmic event with two individuals in the foreground. Encapsulating our shared experience with such a celestial event is a beautiful portrayal of the humanity of connection and how we are part of something so much greater.
Hesser was also one of the photographers behind some of the iconic imagery from the 2017 eclipse with the climber at Smith Rock. After research and pitching ideas to several groups the Nomad film crew reached out to Hesser only a few weeks ago to consult on an image for their film. While the group wrangled a $200,000 Arri Alexa LF cinema setup to follow and capture the eclipse at an incredibly narrow viewing angle, Hesser was also working to create this new iconic image.
Settings for Ted Hesser's Solar Eclipse image were f/11 at 1/320s and ISO 640.
Having shot the solar eclipse in 2017, it’s amazing that the images during the eclipse can be taken with minimal equipment and the real work is in the scouting and pre-shoot time that can be daunting compared to only having a minute or two before the alignment is over.
Were you able to shoot the 2019 or any recent eclipse? What did you learn from your experience and are you excited and gearing up for the 2020 or 2024 eclipses?
Lead image courtesy of the Nomad Film team.