Preliminary notes on the eclipse

John sessomsj at
Tue Aug 22 12:44:38 EDT 2017

I just got home a few minutes ago - long enough to unload the car &
start the first card downloading.

I had a list of about a dozen locations I was checking weather - from
Charleston, SC to Lick Creek, IL. Forecasts ranged from "Mostly Cloudy"
in Charleston to Mostly Sunny in Robbinsville, NC. But on Friday,
Hopkinsville,KY changed from "Mostly Sunny" to "Sunny", and then on
Saturday changed again to "Extra Sunny".

Destination dilemma solved.

Forty-seven hours; 1,228 miles round trip. Rested at the Kentucky
welcome center on I-24 for a couple of hours early Monday Morning before
driving on to Hopkinsville. Weather as advertised. Someone mentioned
they'd heard on the radio that Hopkinsville had the best weather of
anywhere east of the Mississippi.

Approximately four hours on site. Plenty of time to set up equipment &
program my intervalometers. Set them to trip for 1 sec every 35 seconds.
The K-1/K-3 manuals are particularly unhelpful for figuring out what the
display was actually telling me about the ISO in Tav mode. The
instantaneous display after it took a photo looked good on the little TV
on the back, but I didn't want to try to zoom in & really look at it for
fear I'd screw things up and not get any photos.

The intervalometers worked great. I was able to monitor them without
taking too much time away from watching the eclipse. I took my filters
off as soon as it reached totality & used manual shutter release on both
cameras without having to take my eyes off the sky. As soon as I saw the
diamond ring beginning at the trailing edge, I took one last frame with
each camera & let it go back to running on the timers while remounting
the filters.

I'm glad I shopped for the filters early so I could get the right size.
They slipped on easily; stayed secure while mounted, but came off
without disturbing the cameras when the time came & then went back on
just as easily.

Because of the high angle I had trouble aiming the cameras initially.
Once I got them aimed it took me a few tries to figure out how to keep
them aimed. I eventually settled on just nudging the tripod legs around
to keep the sun centered in the display. I used Live View the whole
time. The K-1's articulated screen was great.

If I live long enough for the 2024 eclipse, I'm getting one of those sky
tracking mounts that will hold two cameras.

The K-3 got down to showing only 1/3 battery, but I was ready with a
freshly charged battery. Didn't miss a beat. Slipped the tray out of the
Battery grip during the interval & slipped the new battery in.

Trip back was a bit more stressful because I was more tired when I
started. Napped at rest areas (about 5 hrs combined sleep) once I hit NC.

Science - Questions we may never find answers for.
Religion - Answers we must never question.

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