Sunset Beach Eclipse May 20th 2012

May 20 2012 Solar Eclipse near Sunset Beach / Huntington Beach, CA - timelapse / composition of "phases" of the eclipse during the approximate 2 hour duration.


Near Dog Beach in Huntington Beach CA. Life Guard Stand 24 is in the foreground.


How I Shot this:


Used a Canon 7D with a lens with a doubler to cut the light further, and a solar filter created from multiple sheets of thin Neutral Density (ND) filters more commonly used on movie lights. Over the course of the eclipse I removed the ND sheets one at a time as the sun got lower in the sky and the clouds came in. For the final shot, I’m down to a single ND filter, from the 8 I started with.


The 7D was setup very high on a tall tripod to ensure no one would get in front of it. I used a timer to shoot pictures every minute. The multiple layers of ND allowed me to shoot at f22, ISO 100 and with reasonable shutter speeds. The lens could stop down further, but there was no need, since f22 produced a sharp enough shot.


Obviously I didn't end up using every shot from the 7D’s time-lapse – because over the time that we were there I took almost 150 shots. Clouds came in starting around 7pm, obscuring some of the later images a bit as you can see.


The final image of the sunset is the image used for the overall background. I adjusted the path of the individual sun images because a friend asked for this as a background image for their PC. The original image was a square, with the sun much higher in the sky.


The final assembly of all of the shots was done in Adobe After Effects, since I took 150 pictures the plan is to have a video of this time-lapse, in addition to this overlay photo.


Quite a few questions on Facebook about the location and position of the Sun. The beach here faces Southwest, which can easily become confusing. We think the Pacific Coast is exactly west facing, but it's not, in some places it faces South / SouthWest.

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Taken on May 20, 2012