Category Archives: Portraiture
After posting my Sun and Moon shots on Facebook, I had so many questions from people asking how I did it. I used the same set up for both the Lunar Eclipse and the Transit of Venusbut with different settings of course.
First of all, here are the shots from both events.
Here’s the full moon earlier in the night.
Below: The shadow of the Earth covering about 40% fo the moon.
Settings: 300mm 1/250 f/13 ISO-100 Exp Delay- 3 sec, Self Timer- 10 sec
This shot (below) was about 2 seconds after the one above but I over exposed the moon so the shadow part of the moon would be visible. This one give us a good idea of how big the Earth’s shadow is compared to the moon.
Settings: 300mm 1/3 f/13 ISO-2000 Exp Delay- 3 sec, Self Timer- 10 sec
Below: The transit of Venus across our Sun. It was surprising to me how good this shot turned out. I was even able to pick up some sun spots!! Stoked!
Settings: 300mm 1/100 f/36 ISO-100 Exp Delay- 3 sec, Self Timer- 10 sec
This one also surprised me. Here I over exposed the sun just to see what would happen but it seemed like just a lot of lens flare when I looked at the back of the camera. But when I had a look on the big screen I noticed the stars dotted around the sun. AMAZING!
So here’s how I did it.
1 x Nikon D800E
1 x Nikkor 28-300mm lens (VR Vibration Reduction off)
1 x Extremely sturdy tripod
Optional ingredients for use with the Sun.
1 x Cheap UV filter (doesn’t have to be cheap… maybe that’s just how I roll?)
1 x Welding glass plate.
1 x pinch of Blu-Tac
The first and most important thing I did for both these events was nothing to do with technique or gear, it was simply to be prepared for such events before hand. If I didn’t know that they were happening then I can’t capture them.
For the Partial Lunar Eclipse:
I set up my tripod with the D800E and 28-300 fixed securely and took some prep shots to get the correct exposure and settings.
I also put the camera on self timer for 5 seconds AND Exposure Delay Mode to make sure there was absolutely no camera shake.
Exposure Delay Mode is where the camera flips up its mirror and waits a while before opening the shutter. This takes away any chance of this action causing any vibration. Not sure what Canon calls this or if they even have it ;)
I also made sure I was somewhere where there are very few street lights etc. Every little bit helps.
As it takes quite a while for the Lunar Eclipse to take full effect, I had plenty of time to prepare a good exposure.
The only other thing I did was zoom in a little in post to make it fill the frame. It’s a luxury having the D800E because there are so many megapixels that I can crop down and still be left with heaps of resolution.
For the Transit of Venus:
I bought the welding plate ages ago to experiment with some open shutter stuff but never really got into it. So it’s been in my cupboard for a while. With the plate I also bought a cheap UV filter to be able to stick them together so as to use them as one filter.
Here’s what the final set up looked like.
If you have any further questions or suggestions about this then post in the comment section below.
You may have already seen the photos of my wife and sister circulating Facebook already but here is a brief post about what happened behind the scenes.
Well, I wasn’t the actual wedding photographer here but these were my friends getting married so I think that gave me a licence to go wild with my camera. I didn’t go over the top though. I respected the high-pressure job that the paid guy had and stayed well out of his way.
The wedding venue was called The Silos in the beautiful town of Berry NSW. Earlier in the day the mother of the bride showed me into one of the old empty silos where I got really excited and started to imagine what I could do with it photographically.
Hi and welcome to my blog!
My name is Kirk Vagg and I’ve been a photographer for many years. I’ve experimented with many genres but in recent times I’ve realised my true passion. Photographing people. Although I do stillchase lightning storms and race to catch a setting sun, I always find more depth in capturing people.
This is your official invitation to join me in my journey through the ever-changing, yet never-changing world of photography.