Saturday, March 18, 2006

Equipment to record the eclipse

One does not travel a third of the way around the world to see an eclipse and not take some pictures. The entire eclipse will last a couple of hours, but the most dramatic part, totality, will last 4 minutes. So in those 240 seconds, I will be recording using both a camcorder and digital SLR. Plus stealing a moment every so often to just look at it, both naked eye and with binoculars.

In order to save space, I wanted to mount my cameras on one tripod. Houston Camera Exchange ( has just about anything a photographer could want, whether going classic film, digital, or video. I found a nice Manfrotto tripod there, along with an accessory bar to support the two panheads on which the camcorder and Canon EOS 20D will rest.

I also found a right-angle viewfinder for the digicam which will enable me to compose the shots without contorting myself behind the tripod.

Almost any amateur astronomer will tell you that isn't about the gear -- it's the experience that matters. That's true...but the gear is pretty cool. :)

Three days to the trip!

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