How to Photograph the Total Solar Eclipse on 8/21/17

Total Solar Eclipse 2017: A Guide to Viewing and Photographing it — Hudson Henry Photography

Here's a great video with tips and tricks to view the August 21st, 2017 total solar eclipse. The sun will cross the U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina. This rare event is a great opportunity for photographers – both amateur and professional.

The last time a total solar eclipse was visible in the U.S. was in 1979 in the Pacific Northwest. Here is ABC News coverage from that day with an amazing view from Helena, Montana.

In the video at the top of this post, Hudson Henry explains why the August 21st, 2017 total solar eclipse is special, shares some online maps and electronic scouting tools to help you plan where and how to photograph it, covers what gear you will need to get the best eclipse photos possible and reviews camera settings and technical strategies to capture those images.

When the eclipse reaches totality, you can view it with your naked eyes and stars will be visible. However, during the partial phase leading up to and following totality, you need to protect your eyes and your camera’s sensor. Be sure to view the eclipse using “Live View” on your camera instead of looking directly through the lens using your viewfinder.

WARNING! There is a high risk of PERMANENT EYE DAMAGE when watching the solar eclipse. Learn more at 10:44 of this video: CBC Special: Solar Eclipse Over Winnipeg.

Have fun in your quest to capture some images of a lifetime!

Here are some links to the tools and products recommended in Hudson Henry's video.

– Interactive Google map of the eclipse

– The Photographer’s Ephemeris

– Sun Surveyor for Android & iOS

– Eclipse glasses to protect your eyes *

– 16-Stop ND filter to protect your sensor

00:38 – Specifics about the 8/21/17 total solar eclipse and the difference between a total and partial eclipse

02:18 – Where the eclipse will be visible in the U.S. and how to use the Interactive Google Map

04:03 – Make hotel and flight reservations to viewing locations ASAP!

06:34 – How to capture the eclipse in different settings (urban, buildings, landscape, mountains, trees)

09:02 – Software to scout your ideal location and time of day to capture the eclipse (The Photographer's Ephemeris)

10:57 – Sun Surveyor App for smartphones – Great for planning a shot that includes the sun, moon, or Milky Way

13:51 – Capturing photos with “sun stars” (Although it is not covered in this video, you can easily add cross star or star effects on any photo with just a couple mouse clicks! SAVE 15% off Topaz Labs Star Effects or any of their other Topaz Labs software using code “15topaz” at checkout: http://spectralight.com/TopazSoftware. Scroll down that page to see all the software titles available.)

14:54 – Fluid head tripods for stills and video

16:05 – Recommended Cameras (Nikon D810 or Sony A7)

17:30 – Recommended lenses to photograph the eclipse (Tokina 11-20 mm f/2.8, Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8, Nikon 24-70 f/2.8, Canon 24-70 f/2.8, Zeiss prime lenses or Voigtlander prime lenses)

18:57 – How to photograph the eclipse

19:27 – How to protect your eyes with eclipse viewing glasses (Get eclipse glasses here *)

20:12 – How to protect your camera's sensor (Hoya neutral density filters)

23:03 – How to set your camera's meter for best results

26:50 – ON1 software and forum to learn other photographic techniques

27:41 – Rent photo equipment at BorrowLenses.com

* The link to the eclipse glasses on Amazon may include glasses from non-certified vendors. This article details the features your glasses should have to prevent blindness from looking directly at the sun.

Will YOU be watching, photographing or videotaping the solar eclipse? Please share your thoughts, questions or experiences below. If you post any photos or videos online, feel free to share a link to them!

NOTE: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, you'll help support this blog at no cost to you – allowing us to continue sharing information like this for your education and enjoyment. Win/Win! Thanks!

Senior Portraits of Strongsville High School’s Audrey O’Bryon Truly ROCK!

Every now-and-then, I have the privilege of creating senior portraits of a girl who just intuitively knows how to pose and offer just the right expression at the moment the photo is created.

Audrey O'Bryon, our class of 2017 SpokesModel at Strongsville High School, “rocked” her photoshoot with dozens of cool poses, a variety expressions and an amazing array of outfits that truly showcased her personality.

Senior Pictures of Strongsville High School's Class of 2017 Audrey O'Bryon

Senior Pictures of Strongsville High School's Class of 2017 Audrey O'Bryon.

Senior Pictures of Strongsville High School's Class of 2017 Audrey O'Bryon

She displayed classic elegance in a formal dress, with and without her engaging smile.

Senior Pictures of Strongsville High School's Class of 2017 Audrey O'Bryon

Oh, and did I mention that Audrey is an avid photographer? She is already taking on commercial photography assignments. Pretty amazing for a high school girl!

Senior Pictures of Strongsville High School's Class of 2017 Audrey O'Bryon

With her “bubbly” personality, this seemed like a good fit! I couldn't resist doing a little “digital magic” for a few of Audrey's poses.

Senior Pictures of Strongsville High School's Class of 2017 Audrey O'Bryon

Audrey was completely at ease in front of the camera. Although I typically direct guys and gals into a variety of poses, (you know, these kids aren't professional models), Audrey enjoyed putting her own “spin” on some of them.

Senior Pictures of Strongsville High School's Class of 2017 Audrey O'Bryon

Once again, Audrey's fun-loving personality just shines in this pose.

Senior Pictures of Strongsville High School's Class of 2017 Audrey O'Bryon

I just love this pose of Audrey. Her beautiful, brown eyes are almost magnetic!

Senior Pictures of Strongsville High School's Class of 2017 Audrey O'Bryon

My favorite season is Spring. Creating this portrait of Audrey among the blossoms in our outdoor portrait park was amazing. As soon as I snapped this shot, I just had to show her how beautiful she looked on the camera’s LCD screen.

If you would like senior portraits that show your personality and fashion sense, call us to schedule your session ASAP at 440.748.6300. Our calendar is filling fast for the Class of ’18 – especially for the “early birds” who want to experience the unique portrait style at SpectraLight Photography.

Discover more about our senior photography and grab our price guide here.

Memories of Sammy

Sammy hanging out on the kitchen counter.

Sammy hanging out on the kitchen counter.

(NOTE: I wrote this on the day I lost a very special cat on October 22, 2015. Sammy came into my life as a “foster cat” waiting for an opening at a local pet store. As a full grown cat, I felt his chances for being purchased were slim as most people are drawn to the cute little kittens that are bundles of energy.)

Here he comes, dashing across the yard to greet me. The most affectionate cat I’ve ever been blessed with.

He rises up on his hind paws and gently steadies himself against my leg. We make eye contact. I reach down to caress his chin. He purrs softly.

Later, I observe him lying by the patio door, his soft black fur soaking in the late afternoon sun. He looks so peaceful. I think to myself, “Oh, what a cat’s life!”

Sammy vying for my attention as he takes his place on my laptop.

Sammy vying for my attention as he takes his place on my laptop.

It’s now 8:30 in the evening. I settle onto the couch to relax before bed with my bride of 35 years, ready to watch TV and do some web surfing on my laptop. Oh, but Sammy saunters into the room and decides he’ll have nothing of it. He jumps onto the cushion next to me – vying for my attention. Who can resist those beautiful golden eyes as we, again, catch each other’s gaze. Off goes the laptop and on comes Sammy as he warmly curls onto my lap.

Sammy won my heart over on his first night at our home when he followed me to bed and curled up next to me. Most nights he would roll onto his side and lay his paw on my chest.

Sammy won my heart over on his first night at our home when he followed me to bed and curled up next to me. Most nights he would roll onto his side and lay his paw on my chest.

Time for bed and “Mr. Sam” faithfully follows me upstairs. I snuggle under the covers and he cuddles up next to me. He rolls onto his side and lovingly places his paw across my chest. It’s almost like a child saying, “Daddy, I love you.” I caress his head, he purrs, we both fall asleep. All is good with the world.

3:15 a.m. – My alarm clocks wakes us and we head down to the kitchen. Sammy awaits his usual treat as I grab my cereal. He heads to the patio door for his early morning check of the neighborhood. He pauses as I open the door, sniffs the cool, early morning air, and looks up at me before he cautiously heads out. Is that a wink that I see as I close the door behind him?

Then I’m off to work.

I return about 6:15 p.m. No Sammy to greet me. That’s OK; he’s probably enjoying the last of the nice autumn days before the cold, “lake effect” snows of Lake Erie arrive. He’ll be home soon.

It’s now 9:30 p.m. – time to get to bed because of my early morning start. Still no “Samster.” Well, not the first time that he’s been out all night. Probably checking in with a “lady friend.”

2:00 a.m. – Can’t sleep. I just don’t feel right about Sammy being out all night. Just a few weeks earlier, he lost a “battle” with a skunk. He still has a faint odor from that ordeal. I check all the doors he typically comes-and-goes from. I call his name several times. Still no Sammy.

3:30 a.m. – I leave for work, concerned that I may never see my “little buddy” again.

8:45 a.m. – The dreaded phone call comes. It’s my wife, choking back tears, telling me that she may have passed Sammy lying on the side of the road near our house. She couldn’t bring herself to stop and confirm her fears. I jump in my car, worried what I might find as I race home.

9:30 a.m. – Fear confirmed. Sammy’s svelte body and sweet little face show the ravaging effects of being hit by a car. I kneel over my loving friend, tears streaming onto his dirt-covered fur. I scoop him into my arms, walk to the tree line along my back yard, and kneel down over him as tears stream down my face. My hand rests on his lifeless body for the last time.

Sammy and I

Sammy and I

A little while later, I have finished preparing his final resting place among the trees he used to hunt moles and mice. I gently lay him in his earthly grave, say my final farewell and tell him someday we’ll meet again on the other side of the “Rainbow Bridge.”

I find it interesting that while your loved one is alive, every experience you have with that pet or person is “in-the-moment” – you enjoy it as it happens. The instant they’re gone – those experiences suddenly become memories – the only thing you have left to recall the special time you had with your loved one.

So all I have now are the beautiful memories of the sweet, loving kitty that had been my faithful companion about 10 years. He was unlike most cats… more like a dog in his faithfulness.

I only wish I could “download” all those special moments from my mind and into an album. As time passes, many of the special memories of my Sammy will fade away. I can only look forward to the day that we are reunited in heaven – both of us as we were in happier times.

Rest in peace my little friend.

I Love You,

“Dad”

 

Amazing USB flash drive is a business card on steroids!

Here I am showing the front and back of my newest marketing product - a USB thumbdrive/business card that I can hand to or mail to my clients and prospects. It has gotten a lot of positive feedback from my recipients. In fact, a couple business owners have asked me to create one to better market THEIR products and services!

Here I am showing the front and back of my newest marketing product – a USB flash drive/business card.

Every so often, an amazing product grabs my attention that I just gotta have!

Recently, I was contacted by USB Memory Direct to try a sample of their USB flash drives. I've seen these at trade shows where exhibitors give them away with their logo and website imprinted on them. I always thought they were a pretty cool way of promoting a company.

When I visited the USB Memory Direct website, I was blown away by all the unique styles, shapes and colors they offered. I was even more impressed that companies like, Yelp, Sunoco, Kodak, Intel, Toyota and many other Fortune 500 companies were using them. Now I could finally join the “big boys” with my own custom flash drive!

USB Thumbdrive Business Card

I customized the front of my USB flash drive/business card with my own photo of Cleveland and my logo. The back of the card has additional space for a custom message.

I chose a business card style flash drive that gave me a TON of room on the front and back to encourage the recipient to plug it into their computer and watch our marketing videos and read a PDF listing the services we offer. I even include clickable links within the PDF that will automatically open any web browser to take the viewer to specific pages on my website for information about each service.

With this “business card,” I have a great way to grab the attention of a potential client at a networking event, Chamber of Commerce meeting, party, etc.

Oh, did I mention that the recipient can also use the card to save THEIR own digital files? With 8 GB of storage, there's still plenty of space to add their own documents and photos. Even if they delete my marketing videos and PDF, they still have my contact info on the front and back of the card! And you can bet anyone who sees my card will be curious about the unusual style flash drive with the scenic photo of Cleveland on it.

My flash drive/business cards have gotten a lot of positive feedback from my recipients. In fact, a couple business owners have asked me to create one to better market THEIR products and services!

I am so impressed with the quality and functionality of these flash drives that I asked to become a reseller for USB Memory Direct. You will pay the same price if you order through me and get the personal attention of a local representative who can also handle your special graphic design and marketing needs.

Want to discover how these USB flash drive/business cards can take your marketing to the next level? Contact me here.

 

CLEveland ROCKS! And we have the building to prove it

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - Cleveland, Ohio (Photo: Mark Madere | SpectraLight Photography)

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – Cleveland, Ohio (Photo: Mark Madere | SpectraLight Photography)

Probably the most iconic building in Cleveland, Ohio is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

As a photographer, I just love the distinct design created by world renowned architect, I. M. Pei. Almost every view of the building offers a unique view of Lake Erie or the downtown skyline.

See more views of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and order art prints here.

 

Lauren and Josh – Dancing with the Stars?

(NOTE: You can spin the video all around by clicking on it and moving your cursor in any direction.)

Lauren and Josh Allen decided to celebrate their one-year anniversary with portraits taken in their wedding attire at Huntington Beach… in DECEMBER! All I could say was BRRRRRRR!

Lauren was a SpectraLight Photography SpokesModel when she was in high school and took AMAZING photos. I was thrilled when she called and asked me to do something unique for their anniversary photos. We created poses that were inspired by the hit TV show, “Dancing With the Stars.” #DWTS

Great Photo Opportunities at the 2015 Cleveland National Air Show

Photo of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds at the Cleveland National Air Show was modified in Photoshop to make the jets "pop" against the sky.

Photo of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds at the Cleveland National Air Show was modified in Photoshop to make the jets “pop” against the sky. (Photo by Mark Madere | SpectraLight.com)

It's been a long time since I've attended the Cleveland National Air Show – going back to the days of shooting film. With my digital photo and video cameras in hand – I just couldn't resist the opportunity to go this year!

I kept my photo count down to around 350 shots – unlike the guy next to me who was there all three days – shooting several thousand pics with a variety of extreme telephoto and zoom lenses. And he said he was just shooting for himself!

I captured some nice shots of a few of the stunt aircraft but the high flying Thunderbirds were my main focus as seen here.

Now the real work begins. Editing the video and photos will take some time. I'm just glad I kept the number of photos I took to a “reasonable” number!

Did you attend the air show? What part of the show did you like best? Please comment, share and like this post!

During the 2015 Cleveland National Air Show - the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds fly over the William G. Mather steamship docked at the Great Lakes Science Center.

During the 2015 Cleveland National Air Show – the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flew over the William G. Mather steamship docked at the Great Lakes Science Center. This image can be ordered as wall decor, a cell phone case, on a tote bag or T-shirt and more here. (Photo by Mark Madere | SpectraLight.com)

Fashion Photography from my Art Institute of Pittsburgh days

Lynn Agee was an amazing model during my college days at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.

Lynn Agee at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh – posing for a class photo assignment at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 1978 or 1979.

The route to my degree in Specialized Technology – majoring in Photography/Multi-Media allowed me to explore the field of fashion photography while at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh (AIP).

Two main challenges were finding models on a budget (Hey, I was a student paying for most of my education!) and finding unique locations to impress the profs.

I was fortunate to have a roommate who had an attractive girlfriend who was willing to pose for some of my class assignments.

Lynn Agee was an Interior Design student at AIP without formal modeling experience. She also had a car (which I didn't) so we were able to scout out some pretty cool locations around Pittsburgh.

The location for this particular assignment was Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts – a performing arts center and concert hall located in the Cultural District in downtown Pittsburgh. After all these years, I can't recall how I was able to finagle time at this prestigious location!

Lynn chose her outfit, I lugged in some tungsten lights to match the illumination on Lynn with the color temperature of the lighting in the hall and the result were some stunning photos of a beautiful subject – both the model and the building.

Not only did I get an “A” for this assignment, but I grew to love the challenge of fashion photography created on-location – one of many experiences that continues to serve me well as a portrait photographer creating glamour photos, high school senior portraits and family portraits throughout the U.S. today.

Here are some videos of high school senior girls that show how my portrait style has evolved since Lynn's photo shoot.

High school senior SpokesModel photos created in the Cleveland area.

High school senior SpokesModel photos created in the Cleveland area.

Do you like this article? Please comment here and share on your favorite social media sites!

Cleveland Arctic Plunge – Another one for the “bucket list”

Call it “midlife crisis” or just a little insanity. Last Saturday was my latest “bucket list” moment as I joined dozens of Northeast Ohioans for the 2015 Arctic Plunge at Edgewater Park near downtown Cleveland.

After jumping out of a perfectly good airplane two years ago, I thought it would be fun to dive into the frigid waters of an icy Lake Erie to support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Team Fox (Parkinson's Disease), University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital and Westshore Critical Incident Response Services.

Before taking the plunge, I videotaped my fellow “plungees” (plungers?) as they entered the water like sheep being lead to their slaughter. There were plenty of whoops and laughter as they proceeded in single file down the narrow channel that had just been carved out of the frozen lake by an excavator.

Then it was my turn. I peeled of my winter coat and pants, removed my socks and shoes, turned on my chest-mounted GoPro camera and ran into the lake in my t-shirt and shorts. Good times!

Surprisingly, while the water was cold, it really was quite bearable. The biggest issue I encountered were the chunks of ice floating on and below the water surface. I had a number of cuts and bruises on my lower legs when I finished.

When I got back to the registration tent, someone called a paramedic to attend to my bloodied legs. While he doused the cuts with hydrogen peroxide (which I couldn't feel due to the numbness of my legs), I asked him how many people his crew had treated. Almost apologetically he said, “Well, you're about the only one.” Proud moment for me – NOT!

Have you ever jumped in a frigid lake for a good cause? What was YOUR experience like? Please comment here.

Please THUMBS UP, LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE this story.

9/11 – Where were you when our nation came under siege?

Photo of Statue of Liberty in New York City taken November 23, 2001 - about 10 weeks after the 9/11 attacks.

September 11th marks the thirteen year anniversary of the terror attacks on our country. Thousands of innocent people lost their lives that day and our country lost it's innocence as well.

September 11, 2001 was a glorious fall day in Northeast Ohio. My oldest daughter, Jacqui, was home from school recovering from her wisdom teeth being extracted the day before. Around 9 a.m., my wife called telling me to turn on the TV to see coverage of a plane that had just crashed into the World Trade Center. As the minutes passed, another one hit the WTC, and then the Pentagon, and then Shanksville, PA. It was clear these were no accidents.

My daughter and I watched the coverage all day, wondering what was in store for the future. Could we expect major acts of terror every day? Fortunately, no. But unfortunately, our personal freedoms have come under assault.

Weeks prior to the attacks, my family had planned our first visit ever to New York City during the week of Thanksgiving. After 9/11, we debated whether it is was wise to go there with the possibility of more terrorism. We chose to go.

9/11 World Trade Center rubble in New York

9/11 World Trade Center rubble in New York still stood five stories high in November, 2011.

Our drive along I-80 through Pennsylvania to the “Big Apple” revealed our country's amazing patriotism. We saw the American flag proudly waving over several overpasses and displayed from the windows of countless cars. As we got closer to NYC, we stopped at gas stations and restauraunts where it seemed that everyone we spoke to lost a friend or relative in the World Trade Center collapse.

Probably the most breathtaking moment as we approached the city from several miles out was our first glimpse of the Empire State Building. I imagined what that skyline would have looked like if the Twin Towers still stood. It became difficult driving as my eyes misted over.

There were many other emotional moments as we toured New York. At Grand Central Terminal there was a large display of photos and memorabilia of loved ones lost during the attacks. There was the gut wrenching view of the rubble being cleared away from the Twin Towers – still standing five stories high and smoldering more than ten weeks after the buildings collapsed.

9/11 attack - seagull flies over New York Harbor

A seagull flies over New York Harbor with the skyline missing the World Trade Center Twin Towers.

Fortunately, there was one huge reminder of how great our country is. The Statue of Liberty standing proudly on Ellis Island was there to remind us that our country will always fight for our freedom. It was a wonderful way to conclude our journey.

So what memories do you have from the day the world changed forever? Please share them with a comment.