Last week I made the long trip from the UK to Chile in the hopes of capturing my first total solar eclipse. I had experienced a cloudy total solar eclipse from the UK in 1999 but back then I was just 9 years old and certainly no photographer. Now that I’m apparently a professional landscape astrophotographer, a total solar eclipse was a gaping hole in my portfolio.
Total solar eclipses are of course a rare event. They occur once every 18 months on average but totality can only be seen from a thin and short path each time. On top of that, there will inevitably be eclipses ruined by bad weather and eclipses that occur in locations difficult to reach, such as the 4 December 2021 eclipse that passes through Antarctica. As such, people who are experienced in photographing total solar eclipses are few and far between and although I have only now captured just one myself, I’d still like to share what I learnt from it.