Photographing the upcoming Venus Transit

Discussion in 'Digital and Video Cameras' started by Modelworks, May 21, 2012.

  1. Modelworks

    Modelworks Lifer

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2007
    Messages:
    16,243
    Likes Received:
    2
    I haven't done much astrological type photography so looking for pointers or tips on photographing the upcoming venus transit. The photos are best taken at sunset so that means exposing the cameras sensor to focused direct sunlight. I don't have a lot of spare cash so looking for ways to minimize the damage that direct sunlight can cause and still get some good pics.

    If you haven't heard of the venus transit, here is a link, next chance for viewing is 2117.
    http://science.nasa.gov/venus-transit/
     
    #1 Modelworks, May 21, 2012
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
  2. Loading...

    Similar Threads - Photographing upcoming Venus Forum Date
    I'm looking for info or links to a service that offers to take your photographs Digital and Video Cameras Apr 19, 2017
    Can someone tell me what kind of lens is used in these photographs? Digital and Video Cameras Mar 23, 2017
    Olympic Photographers stockpiles.... Digital and Video Cameras Aug 28, 2016
    Retirement gift for an avid hobbyist photographer Digital and Video Cameras Aug 9, 2016
    Wide, zoom or macro for a upcoming trip? Digital and Video Cameras Feb 29, 2012

  3. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Lifer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    16,833
    Likes Received:
    0
    Don't expose your eyes to direct sunlight either.

    What I would do is use live view rather than optical viewfinder, and use filters to darken the sun to protect the sensor. Stack a non circular polarizer in front of your normal circular polarizer. Then you can rotate them relative to each other to block any amount of light you want.

    Theoretically you could also view the sun with your eyes if your adjustable sensor is set dark enough, but I wouldn't chance it... UV might still get through, or you could accidentally rotate it wrong, etc.

    Maybe you could also place a piece of welding glass in front of your camera.
     
  4. sixone

    sixone Lifer

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    25,168
    Likes Received:
    3
    Don't take chances with your eyes. Astronomy-grade mylar is super cheap on ebay ($10 for a 4"x4" sheet), or get some #14 welders glass.
     
  5. Syborg1211

    Syborg1211 Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2000
    Messages:
    3,273
    Likes Received:
    16
    If you have a DSLR, I wouldn't be too worried about damaging the sensor with sunlight. The biggest concerns are prolonged exposures to sunlight which might physically burn the sensor from the light concentrated through the lens, but we're talking really long exposure times which you would normally only use at night. The sensor in an SLR is only exposed for a very short period of time under normal operation. That said, I wouldn't use Live View because this has your sensor constantly exposed to the light.

    Also, the sunlight during sunset/sunrise is shone at a less direct angle so much of the light gets diffracted by the atmosphere and clouds. Thus the strength of the sunlight during these times isn't nearly as strong as during midday.

    A P&S camera, however, typically always has the sensor exposed so these are much more susceptible to sunlight damage.

    The biggest concern should be protecting your eyes, but you can still look through the viewfinder briefly - just don't look directly at the sun in the viewfinder. Look at the environment, focus, and composition of the picture around the sun and try not to look for that long.
     
  6. yhelothar

    yhelothar Lifer

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2002
    Messages:
    18,333
    Likes Received:
    15
    CDs work pretty well to blocking out enough light for safe viewing.
     
  7. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Lifer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    16,833
    Likes Received:
    0
    CDs don't block that much light. You can even see a regular lightbulb through a CD
     
  8. yhelothar

    yhelothar Lifer

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2002
    Messages:
    18,333
    Likes Received:
    15
    I haven't tried it for photography, but I used it for the eclipse and it made viewing it quite comfortable. It's a quite common alternative to getting the eclipse glasses. I would only imagine a fast shutter with a stopped down lens being less sensitive than the retina.
     
  9. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Lifer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    16,833
    Likes Received:
    0
    You could view an eclipse comfortably with no eye protection, and that is the problem. Your eye doesn't detect how bright it is, because it sees mostly darkness with only a sliver of bright. But that sliver will burn your retina.

    If you look at the sun intentionally on a normal day, you instinctively close your eyes and look away, but that reflex doesn't happen with an eclipse which makes them dangerous.
     
  10. yhelothar

    yhelothar Lifer

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2002
    Messages:
    18,333
    Likes Received:
    15
    You could view the sun uneclipsed comfortably with a CD.
     
  11. sixone

    sixone Lifer

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    25,168
    Likes Received:
    3
    Yes, you could. But it's not the visible light that will destroy your vision. Please don't encourage people to put theirs at risk, especially when safe alternatives are so easily available.
     
  12. sixone

    sixone Lifer

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    25,168
    Likes Received:
    3
  13. yhelothar

    yhelothar Lifer

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2002
    Messages:
    18,333
    Likes Received:
    15
  14. sixone

    sixone Lifer

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    25,168
    Likes Received:
    3
    You're very welcome. I'd hate to see anyone lose their sight, even temporarily, when it's so easy to protect yourself.
     
  15. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Lifer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    16,833
    Likes Received:
    0
    The danger isn't losing your sight, it's burning your retina, which creates a permanent spot in your vision for the rest of your life.
     
  16. Nohr

    Nohr Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2001
    Messages:
    7,296
    Likes Received:
    17
    Let see some pics! Here's my first attempt at sun photography.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Necrolezbeast

    Necrolezbeast Senior member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2002
    Messages:
    838
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm no expert, but I like the picture! I'd say it's a job well done, Nohr!
     
  18. sixone

    sixone Lifer

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    25,168
    Likes Received:
    3
    Here's another one:
     
    #17 sixone, Jun 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012
  19. Nohr

    Nohr Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2001
    Messages:
    7,296
    Likes Received:
    17
    Thanks! It came out pretty good considering how unprepared I was.
     
  20. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Lifer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    16,833
    Likes Received:
    0
    Do you adjust white balance so the sun looks yellow/orange instead of white? Or is the color from the filter?
     
  21. Nohr

    Nohr Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2001
    Messages:
    7,296
    Likes Received:
    17
    It must be the filter. I didn't adjust the white balance.

    No more pics? :(