THE JOURNEY- MONTHS OF PLANNING AND RESEARCH
One of the advantages of having a house on wheels is that we can pack up and go where we want (except Hawaii). When we first heard about the eclipse we started doing research on what it would take to photograph the event. We’ve been in the Pacific Northwest for most of the summer and realized that we were only about 5 hours away from the path of totality so we started looking for a place to “camp” in central Idaho. For $100 per night, we booked ‘luxury’ accommodations in the middle of a farmers grass field at Alpha Nursery in Cascade, Idaho.
OUR FIRST DRY CAMPING EXPERIENCE
We pulled in Friday afternoon, August 18th, and were surprised to find we were the first to arrive making it fairly easy to get in, turn around, and get parked. Boondocking, dry camping, whatever your favorite term is – it was technically our first extended period of time with no ‘amenities’. Our motorhome is all electric and this ‘boondocking’ thing took some forethought on our part to ensure we didn’t have any issues. We shut down almost everything except for the fridge to conserve power and minimize our generator use in an effort to not disturb the tent campers right next to us. While definitely not our first choice of accommodations, overall our dry camping experience was OK. The couple that own the nursery (Sue and George) went above and beyond to make sure we had a great glamping experience in their middle of their field.
Saturday and Sunday (August 19th and 20th) were spent practicing the set up of our camera and tracking head so we wouldn’t make any mistakes on Monday and miss this incredible opportunity. The evenings were spent doing some night photography. Below is one of the ‘diamond ring’ eclipse pictures and the galactic core of the milky way.
We are complete amateur’s in photography and have thoroughly enjoyed the research about equipment, timing, tracking, and locations. Overall we took about 700 photos and a couple hours of time lapse video. Here is a composite photo of the different stages of the eclipse.
- Canon EOS rebel T5i
- Canon 75 – 300 lens with solar filter
- iOptron Skytracker Pro tracking head
- Camera was tethered to laptop running the Canon software. (This allowed us to easily change settings, automate the picture taking with the built in timer feature and see the pictures as they were being taken on a larger screen)
We’ve included two videos of our setup process and a 60 second time lapse of totality.