The upcoming total solar eclipse + picture from the last one

April 8, 2024, with totality on a line from SW TX up through northern NY. Here’s the best center line map I’ve found. Zoom in and click anywhere to see everything you need to know at that location.

And here’s the best $10 investment in how to photograph it with a huge range of equipment:

I’ll do everything I can to get well within totality. It is an unbelievable occurrence. I have a post from the last one (2017) in the Nightscape and Astro Forum. It will be a long time until the next chance within the US.

The best historical weather odds are in SW TX and get worse as you go NE. This will be our third and we had amazing luck the first two times. Hope I haven’t used it up.

I’ve had detailed checklists for two previous annular eclipses and two total, and am working on one for my current equipment for this upcoming one. I’ll be tracking, as I did the last one, in order to assemble an HDR of the details as far out in the corona as I can reach before flare from the brightest inner parts swamps out the detail. I did a practice run today, with just the sun (and of course a solar filter).

If you have any thoughts of doing it, get a good solar filter now and start practicing. And a word of warning – at totality it will very suddenly get as dark as a half-full moon – which will look even darker because of the suddenness. Have a headlamp for anything you need to do with the camera or laptop.

I hope anyone interested will post here as a resource for everyone!


Another useful tool is the Solar Eclipse Timer app (Gordon Telepun).


Here are some links about the total solar eclipse of April 8, 2024. The first is by the Texas State Parks page. Several state parks will be on the path of the eclipse. The second link shows what cities are on the path. It might help you find a place to stay.

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Thanks! I’ve been going over the path with a magnifying glass for a year now! We just booked a room and got a rental car, in Beeville, arriving by small plane.

We plan to drive up into the area of totality within 5-10 mi of the centerline for more time in totality, to shoot an HDR. Somewhere near Uvalde might be good. I want an isolated country road with no crowds!! If you have any thoughts about locations, I’d be grateful. We’ll scout the 7th. We will try for the clearest-looking area. Definitely praying to the weather gods!!

STELLAR !!! No words needed !!!

Diane, in my own way, I am also doing a lot of practice, reading and watching videos in anticipation of the solar eclipse. Maybe a little too much as I feel as if I am in information overload at this point.
My question for you with your previous experiences, when you refer to assembling an HDR, are you utilizing PS “automate-merge to HDR” or are you creating a composite of your bracketed shots? Do you feel one method work better than the other?
Appreciate your thoughts, thanks!

Hi Linda,

I have only done this once, in 2017. The 1998 one was on film, back in the Dark Ages, and in spite of a lot of planning the scans were hardly worth stacking. In 2017 I think I did the stacks with masking by hand. The LR merge to HDR thing was introduced in 2018 and I don’t remember when it appeared in PS but probably about the same time. (Back then I was using HDR programs like Photomatix but I was never delighted with the results and don’t remember trying them on the eclipse frames.)

Now there is a new HDR thing in PS that I haven’t even had time to look at:

I’ll try all options this time and see what works best. If I don’t get another try, I’ll go back and see if I can improve the processing on the 2017 files.

I haven’t looked at videos, as so many are worthless junk. My best source of good info is the Alan Dyer e-book.

I could try the processing in PixInsight (astro software) but I doubt it has advantages over LR and PS for single frames at each exposure.

You’ll be digging out tonalities so keep the ISO as low as possible.


Diane Miller

Thanks for the link t the new PS HDR, Diane. Will definitely check this out. And, yes, I keep going back to Alan Dyer’s book to re-read again and again. Great book. I appreciate you telling me about it.
In my practicing, I’ve only been working with an ISO of 100 which seems to be working ok, so far.
The weather is looking good, fingers crossed . . . April 4th the weather is supposed to be 75 with clear skies. We’ll see.
Thanks again.

WOW — that forecast sounds great!!!

I just pulled up the HDR link — it is about something else entirely — the ability of some new monitors to display more of the dynamic range that newer cameras have captured for a while. It will have to wait till after the eclipse.

Diane Miller

Yes, I did attempt to read it last night and got totally lost! Good to know.