Home Eclipse 2024, Time-Lapse & Super Zoom

Eclipse 2024, Time-Lapse & Super Zoom

For the Epic 2024 Eclipse, we aimed to experience maximum totality and chose Poplar Bluff, Missouri, as our viewing location. In a bit of a rush, we set up two cameras to capture this awe-inspiring event.

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Nikon D7000 Eclipse Time-Lapse

Eclipse 2024 from Poplar Bluff, MO in 4K

Setup for the Nikon D7000 was for time-lapse, with an interval of 5 seconds, and just over 900 photos. Focus was set to manual and the exposure on automatic. A case can be made to go completely manual on all settings, but with multiple-cameras and other logistics to deal with there was not time, perhaps in 2045 :-).

The Camera was aimed away from the sun to catch the progression of totality without risk to damaging camera sensors. Watching the sky brightness above the distant treeline, you can see the local area is first blanketed with darkness, and the darkness spreading into the distant sky. Finally the eclipse passes over the area returning the local area to sunshine while the for just a few camera frames you can see darkness continuing to move away in the distance.

The resulting images were processed in Final Cut Pro, setting each photo to a single video frame at 24 frames per second. During the totality period, the frame rate was slowed down considerably for visual effect, and then sped back up to 24 frames per second.

Nikon Coolpix P1000 Super-Zoom

After setting up the D7000 for time-lapse photography, focus shifted to capturing the event directly with the P1000. This camera requires a special neutral density filter to protect its sensor when aimed at the sun, but during the total eclipse phase, it is safe to photograph without this filter.

The P1000 was mounted on a tripod, positioned in the shade. Initial settings and orientation were carefully adjusted to match the expected conditions. The camera features a moon-mode, which automatically adjusts focus, exposure, and includes a 1-second shutter release delay. This delay is crucial for minimizing camera shake when pressing the shutter button.

Seeing Venus and Jupiter mid-day

This first photo, taken with the P1000’s zoom set to a wide-angle view, captures the eclipse as a bright spot. Additionally, the planets Venus and Jupiter are visible, which is a rare sight during mid-day.

Venus and Jupiter

This is the Sun’s outer atmosphere, the Solar Corona, which appears as a glowing halo of light around the darkened disk of the Moon.

Solar Corona The Solar Corona

In the next image, you’ll notice a large plasma plume at the 6 o’clock position. While some may refer to this as a solar flare, that would be inaccurate. A solar flare is primarily an electromagnetic phenomenon, whereas a plasma plume involves the physical movement of solar material through space. Plasma plumes can persist for days or even weeks and typically form a loop shape.

Plasma Plume Plasma Plume

To the naked eye, the moon appears round and smooth, however through a 3000mm telephoto lense you can see that in addition to a Plasma Plume, there is a irregular outline to the moon. This is in fact do the the irregular outline of the moon itself, with all its mountains, craters and smooth plains.

Irregular Outline Irregular Outline, moon mountains

Finally, one last shot of the moon showing a Plasma Plume with the sun starting to peek around the moon. Even though we had totality for over 4 minutes, the time went by so fast. And now the waiting begins, 20+ years until the next Total Solar Eclipse in North America.

Plasma Plume Irregular Outline

Where to buy the Coolpix P1000

Extended QR Plate for better balance

This QR plate is 120 mm making for a better balance on the tripod head.

Carbon Fiber Tripod with Monopod

This is a full size durable and lightweight tripod.

Geared Tripod Head

This is essential for controlling the P1000 super zoom. Elevation is limited to 15 degrees in the standard configuration. I turn it around backwards to shoot elevations as high as 90 degrees.

Nikon Coolpix P1000 References

  1. Nikon’s Official Website: This is the official page for the Coolpix P1000 on Nikon’s website, where you can find detailed product specifications, user manuals, and firmware updates.

  2. DPReview’s Nikon Coolpix P1000 Page: Digital Photography Review (DPReview) is a renowned site for comprehensive reviews and technical insights about digital cameras. They provide expert reviews, forums for community discussions, and sample photos.

  3. PhotographyTalk’s Nikon Coolpix P1000 Review: PhotographyTalk offers photography tips, gear reviews, and forums for discussion. They also have a dedicated Nikon Coolpix P1000 review and several related articles to help you maximize your camera usage.

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