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The Annular Eclipse of 2023 » Michael Clark Images

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In early September this 12 months, Jeff Provenzano contacted me about doing a mission in tandem with the annular eclipse, which was happening on October 14, 2023. Jeff is without doubt one of the world’s most elite sky divers and likewise a member of the Purple Bull Air Power–a crew of elite sky divers, BASE jumpers, and wingsuit pilots. This wasn’t a Purple Bull project, however having labored with Jeff on dozens of assignments during the last fifteen years, I knew it will be alternative to create some unbelievable pictures. In our discussions, Jeff had lined up helicopters in numerous locations alongside the trail of the eclipse however we couldn’t get permits. We additionally mentioned how we might truly pull it off. I advised him I’d give it some thought however within the ensuing days I by no means discovered a technique to do all of it in digicam in a single shot. In actuality, getting this sort of picture with a shifting topic within the sky in opposition to an eclipse is actually an unattainable shot. With a 16-stop photo voltaic filter on the lens, which is a filter that absolutely blacks out the body, I’d not be capable to see the place he was and even try and deal with him. Therefore, the one resolution was a double publicity—both in digicam or after the very fact in Photoshop. Each choices yield basically the identical outcome.

The entire sky diving pictures you see right here on this weblog publish are Double Publicity pictures created utilizing pictures captured of the Annular Eclipse on October 14th and pictures of Jeff Provenzano that have been captured earlier this 12 months whereas taking pictures an project for Purple Bull. As a result of we couldn’t get any permits for places in keeping with the eclipse, I made a decision I’d simply {photograph} the eclipse from my house right here in Santa Fe, New Mexico–which was in keeping with the eclipse. Afterwards I’d see if this double publicity thought might work.

I photographed the eclipse with the intention of making one thing atmospheric for the double publicity pictures. Having photographed a number of eclipses, I knew the usual shot with pitch black sky and the crescent sun-moon was probably not going to work. I deliberately overexposed the pictures, which created purple and blue halos across the fuzzy eclipse. The eclipse appears to be like fuzzy and out of focus however that’s simply the extreme mild scattering via the 800mm lens that I used to be utilizing to {photograph} the occasion. I used to be capable of regulate and recompose the halos by shifting the lens. The halos are basically reflections bouncing round inside the enormous telephoto lens I used to {photograph} the eclipse. Right here in Santa Fe, New Mexico we didn’t get the overall eclipse completely centered, however that didn’t actually matter since I felt the crescent form would possibly truly lend itself higher for the ultimate double publicity picture. Apparently in one among these pictures when you look carefully you’ll be able to see a pretty big photo voltaic flare flying off the solar’s floor on the sting of the eclipse. See the final picture under for an in depth up of that photo voltaic flare.

Whereas photographing the eclipse, I saved shifting the digicam to maneuver the halos across the body–and likewise so I’d have numerous choices once I got here again into the workplace and began placing the pictures collectively. I selected the pictures of the eclipse that I assumed would possibly work nicely after which pulled the skydiving pictures and overlayed them in Photoshop utilizing a easy mix mode, which is just about the identical as doing the double publicity in digicam. I nearly fell out of my workplace chair when the primary picture got here collectively. I used to be blown away at how good it seemed and nicely it labored. I used to be so impressed by that first picture that I began placing collectively a bunch of various pictures to see how they labored out. Just a few hours later I had over 30 composite pictures labored up and commenced them as an entire to determine which of them work the very best.

In my pleasure I zipped off a number of low res jpegs to Jeff, who was on the time sky diving in southern Arizona at a bounce zone. In between sky dives, he responded and was simply as blown away as I used to be. I posted a number of to Instagram and my feed blew up with feedback. Jeff did the identical and he received much more feedback and likes–particularly since he’s fairly well-known within the sky diving world. A few of Jeff’s associates have been questioning how he jumped in entrance of the eclipse once they didn’t see it in southern Arizona, therefore the lengthy rationalization of those pictures right here and on my social media posts.

I’ve been requested to do that form of shot a number of occasions by a number of totally different shoppers. A kind of occasions the shopper knew the chances of capturing the precise picture was so tough they wrote into the contract that I’d nonetheless receives a commission even when I got here again with zero pictures–fortunately that project fell via as they couldn’t get permits for what we wished to attempt. My response has at all times been that for topics in movement the one actual technique to do it’s a double publicity. Now I can say that it really works. I’ve much more enjoying round to do with numerous pictures mixed with the eclipse however under are a number of of my favorites that I’ve put collectively to date.

I’ve since put up a gallery on my web site with the very best pictures from this mission. Examine these out here. I’m fairly excited for the subsequent large eclipse to check out this system and to do the whole lot in digicam–keep tuned for that.

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