Darren Drake


I have worked as an astronomer and planetarium show operator at the Cernan Space Center for 25 years.  

Darren Drake

I have been a resident astronomer at Camp Eberhart in Michigan and ran the astronomy program there for 9 years.   I have taught astronomy at 3 community colleges.  

I own several telescopes including an 18 inch that has traveled to numerous star parties and have shown many hundreds of campers views under dark skies at Camp Eberhart with .  

Also, I have done a lot of sidewalk astronomy.  

Photographing August’s Solar Eclipse

Millions of people will travel to view the Great American Eclipse on August 21, 2017, and millions more will see the eclipse as a partial. Likely this will be one of the most-photographed events in history. So… how do you take that magazine-quality photo?

For those who travel to the center line, a variety of equipment and techniques can be employed to image not only the eclipse itself, but events leading up to and following totality. One can employ very-simple equipment, such as a smartphone or tablet, or more exotic telescope-digital single lens reflex or DSLR cameras. Can one really get a decent smartphone image of totality? What is the best equipment to capture that incredible image? How long an exposure? What type of a mount? What might be that one most-important secret to great photography of totality?

This talk will overview what to consider photographing before, during, and after totality, equipment options – what’s best to take that magazine-quality photos, and photography specifications. For example: why is focus so critical, and how does one best achieve the sharpest focus on eclipse day? And how can varying the exposure length provide one with such a variety of images of totality? Actual equipment will be set up for demonstrations.