I had planning photographing this eclipse for months, and finally on April 8th, the day arrived. It was very cloudy early on, but cleared somewhat, and enough that it looked like I may get lucky between the clouds. My planning included a lot of practice after watching Hudson & Rick’s ATS 294, How to Practice & Shoot the Total Solar Eclipse video; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbpB7DNa6TA, something I had not done prior to photographing the Annular Solar Eclipse last year, so this experience was a breeze with their recommended camera settings, although I did make minor changes because of the solar filters I used.  Too bad we had cloudy skies.

2024 Total Solar Eclipse. Nikon Z8, 800 mm f/6.3 lens. Bracketed 9-frames, 1-stop apart and blended layers.

For those interested, additional details of the shooting window, gear, setting and post editing. Since living in Texas and my home was in the path of totality, I set up in my back yard using two tripods and two cameras.

  • One tripod was set up with my iOptron Sky Tracker Pro (I completed the polar alignment the night before) to secure my Nikon Z9 fitted with the Z 100-400 mm lens fitted with a 77 mm-95 mm ring adaptor for my 95mm Firecrest Ultra, 18-stop ND Solar Eclipse Filter. Focal length for this setup was 400 mm.
  • The second tripod fitted with fluid head secured my Nikon Z8 fitted with my Z 800 mm lens and a Star Guy 145-175 mm Natural Light Adjustable Solar Filter.
  • Each camera was fitted with a Vello wireless Shutterboss remote.
  • For the partial eclipse, a single RAW photograph was taken at 5-minute intervals, ISO 64, f/8, 1/800 sec. 
  • For the 3-minutes of totality, I bracketed 9 RAW frames, 1-stop apart. 1 on the meter, 4 under exposed and 4 over exposed. ISO 64, f/11, 1/1250 sec. at 10 frames/second.
  • The image above is assembled in ON1 Photo RAW 2024 consists of 7 of the best 9 frames, in Layers, Aligned the visible layers, created a Stamped layer, and finally, Square crop.