Sony A6300 Bracketing and White Balance, and other Solar Eclipse Settings

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genesiusj

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Genesius Jaromsky
Hello,
As some might have read in my earlier posts, I am driving to Lake Ontario and will be in the path of totality for the solar eclipse this Monday. There are so many resources out there on settings, and I have finally decided to settle on this resource, Partial eclipse (2), (I created the below pic for the different phases of the eclipse).
I am confused by this statement as I just started attempting bracketing a week ago.
  • "Bracketing: To make sure you're getting at least one photo correctly exposed, bracket your exposure starting with a base shutter speed of 1/500s. For this photo I used an exposure bracketing of 3 stops."
  1. How many shots within the bracketing? 3 or 5 or 9? I'm 9 would be best to cover a larger range and capture both details and shadows.
  2. Does this mean 3 stops between each shot? If 3 between each, that is a HUGE range over 9 shots.
  • White balance: Manual. Nevertheless, you can always correct it in post-processing. In this photo I used a warm white balance (7460K) to capture the colors of the Sun through the Baader solar filter, which produces a neutral dominant (white).
  1. I'm using a DayStar solar filter (produces a yellow color); therefore, what white balance should I use? BTW, I am also a newbie with DarkTable (correcting white balance I have attempted yet).
I read through the article and made a quick settings guide. I don't know if I'll catch everything; I want to enjoy it.

If I am going to bracket, I'm not sure why article directs me to Fred Espenak's exposure table, in order to figure out metering mode and shutter speed.

The green rows I'm definitely going to shoot. The orange sounds like something real cool to shoot. The red might take too long to change settings for. I don't want to miss "seeing" this event.

Screenshot - 4_2_2024 , 1_21_25 PM.jpg


Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance and God bless,
Genesius

BTW, are there any other members who will shooting the eclipse on Monday?
 
Please look at the sun shots and eclipse threads to get started. I’ve practiced with 9 shots, but found that a stack of the 1st, 5th, and 9th shots produced the best results. I’ve also done 3 and 5 shot brackets. I think 3 shots with the widest stop difference may be where I start.

I’m at the eye doctor, will take a closer look at your post when I get the chance.
 
I've set up my a7RV using M1 for the partial shots, M2 for as it enters C2 and C3 (to get Bailey's Beads and Diamond Ring), and M3 for Totality. I will be shooting it in Killeen, TX pretty much right on the center line and should have 4'18" of totality. I consulted the chart at https://www.astropix.com/html/astrophotography/eclipse.html to determine starting points. I will do more testing once we get to Texas this week.

M1 is f/8, 1/500, ISO 100, Bracket 0.5EV x 5 (filter on)

M2 is f/8, 1/1000, ISO 100, Bracket 1EV x 5 (filter off just before C2 and back on just after C3) I'm hoping the bracketing will allow capturing good exposures of both the Diamond Ring and Bailey's beads. Last time I just did a long burst and got pretty good results. You can see them at the link below if you want to see those shots.

M3 is f/8, 1/60. ISO 400, Bracket 2EV x 7 (had to choose between 1EV x 9 and this since you can only choose 9 shots at 1EV or less.)

I also downloaded an app for my iPhone called Solar Eclipse Timer that I will use. It includes a photography mode that tells you when to take shots so that you have evenly spaced shots of the series. It also reminds you when to remove the filter and what to look for as it progresses.

I may also adjust the ISO and aperture to get additional shots in totality since it is twice as long as we had in 2017. I do want to spend plenty of time just taking it in with family.

Here is a gallery of the shots I got of the eclipse from 2017 here in SC. It was with a Pentax K3.

Solar Eclipse from 2017
 
Not sure how concerned I am about white balance. My filter does the same thing with regard to producing a white sun, but white balance and color correction can be applied in post to taste. Every practice shot I've processed so far has been adjusted for color anyway. I'm going to leave it in auto.
 
I've set up my a7RV using M1 for the partial shots, M2 for as it enters C2 and C3 (to get Bailey's Beads and Diamond Ring), and M3 for Totality. I will be shooting it in Killeen, TX pretty much right on the center line and should have 4'18" of totality. I consulted the chart at https://www.astropix.com/html/astrophotography/eclipse.html to determine starting points. I will do more testing once we get to Texas this week.

M1 is f/8, 1/500, ISO 100, Bracket 0.5EV x 5 (filter on)

M2 is f/8, 1/1000, ISO 100, Bracket 1EV x 5 (filter off just before C2 and back on just after C3) I'm hoping the bracketing will allow capturing good exposures of both the Diamond Ring and Bailey's beads. Last time I just did a long burst and got pretty good results. You can see them at the link below if you want to see those shots.

M3 is f/8, 1/60. ISO 400, Bracket 2EV x 7 (had to choose between 1EV x 9 and this since you can only choose 9 shots at 1EV or less.)

I also downloaded an app for my iPhone called Solar Eclipse Timer that I will use. It includes a photography mode that tells you when to take shots so that you have evenly spaced shots of the series. It also reminds you when to remove the filter and what to look for as it progresses.

I may also adjust the ISO and aperture to get additional shots in totality since it is twice as long as we had in 2017. I do want to spend plenty of time just taking it in with family.

Here is a gallery of the shots I got of the eclipse from 2017 here in SC. It was with a Pentax K3.

Solar Eclipse from 2017
Thanks @GvilleRick.
I have not setup assigned buttons yet. I'll be asking plenty of questions.
I would liked Texas, but it was too long a drive. My son and I are headed from Central NJ to Sodus Point, NY. Max will be 3:27. I choose this spot because it is a Bortel ~4.5. I going to take shots of The Milky Way on Tuesday morning because of the New Moon.

I shoot in both RAW & JPEG. With bracketing, should I just do RAW to lessen the time to write the images to my SD card? I don't have a hi-speed card.

Also, can you recommend a good resource for how redefining those buttons?

Thanks and God bless,
Genesius
 
I've set up my a7RV using M1 for the partial shots, M2 for as it enters C2 and C3 (to get Bailey's Beads and Diamond Ring), and M3 for Totality. I will be shooting it in Killeen, TX pretty much right on the center line and should have 4'18" of totality. I consulted the chart at https://www.astropix.com/html/astrophotography/eclipse.html to determine starting points. I will do more testing once we get to Texas this week.

M1 is f/8, 1/500, ISO 100, Bracket 0.5EV x 5 (filter on)

M2 is f/8, 1/1000, ISO 100, Bracket 1EV x 5 (filter off just before C2 and back on just after C3) I'm hoping the bracketing will allow capturing good exposures of both the Diamond Ring and Bailey's beads. Last time I just did a long burst and got pretty good results. You can see them at the link below if you want to see those shots.

M3 is f/8, 1/60. ISO 400, Bracket 2EV x 7 (had to choose between 1EV x 9 and this since you can only choose 9 shots at 1EV or less.)

I also downloaded an app for my iPhone called Solar Eclipse Timer that I will use. It includes a photography mode that tells you when to take shots so that you have evenly spaced shots of the series. It also reminds you when to remove the filter and what to look for as it progresses.

I may also adjust the ISO and aperture to get additional shots in totality since it is twice as long as we had in 2017. I do want to spend plenty of time just taking it in with family.

Here is a gallery of the shots I got of the eclipse from 2017 here in SC. It was with a Pentax K3.

Solar Eclipse from 2017
@GvilleRick
Great pics from 2017.
In NJ I think we were somewhere in the neighborhood of 75% totality. Doesn't matter. Even 99.9% isn't totality.
I didn't have solar glasses so I looked at the Sun reflected off my cell phone. I shot my screen with my second cell phone.
God bless,
Genesius
 

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Thanks @GvilleRick.
I have not setup assigned buttons yet. I'll be asking plenty of questions.
I would liked Texas, but it was too long a drive. My son and I are headed from Central NJ to Sodus Point, NY. Max will be 3:27. I choose this spot because it is a Bortel ~4.5. I going to take shots of The Milky Way on Tuesday morning because of the New Moon.

I shoot in both RAW & JPEG. With bracketing, should I just do RAW to lessen the time to write the images to my SD card? I don't have a hi-speed card.

Also, can you recommend a good resource for how redefining those buttons?

Thanks and God bless,
Genesius

It looks like the A6300 only has a couple of memory settings on the dial but you also can set up the Manual settings and leave them alone so that you could switch easily between Manual, 1, & 2 and then back. Basically you just set up the camera for the settings and then choose the Memory option in the Camera Settings section of the Menu. It will give you the option of storing the current settings in the different locations. I just did a Youtube search for the A6300 and saw several.

I would just shoot RAW for this and select Auto WB since you can easily change it in the RAW files. The filters I am using this time result in a white sun rather than the yellow from the film I used last time.

As far as location, right now the forecasts look better for the Northeast than Texas. I'm hoping it improves and we get clear skies.
 
Setting up my memory slots for the eclipse and I have a couple of more settings questions.
I have Dave Busch's book "Sony A6300/ILCE-6300 Guide to Digital Photography". For those who have this book, on page 39 is an pic of the Display All Info screen on the LCD. I went through each of the symbols on my LCD.
  1. Since I will be shooting in Manual Mode, using a tripod, and manually focusing, does the setting Focus Area (Wide, Zone, Center, Flexible Spot, Expand Flexible Spot, Lock-On AF) matter?
  2. Should I set DRO to Auto (default) or turn it off?
  3. When in the Display All Info screen there is a blinking -2.0 at the bottom of the screen, just right of center. According Busch's book, this is a Zoom indicator. However, both in Camera Settings screen 3 Zoom Setting and Custom Settings screen 6 Zoom, are grayed out. Since my SEL18200 OSS lens is not a PZ (power zoom), should I be worried about this blinking?
Thanks and God bless,
Genesius
 
Someone with a camera like yours will need to comment on the zoom thing. As for the focus settings, the camera needs contrast to help focus. When I was practicing I noted right away that using center spot right on the sun resulted in the camera being unable to focus. Use a wide enough area to allow the camera to catch the edge of the sun helped. I am probably gong to use zone or something similar.

I don't know if the DRO does anything in RAW, I suspect not. If shooting in jpeg I would use it, but not in RAW. You could probably program it temporarily to a button and toggle it on and off. Taking shots both ways if your unsure would be good insurance.
 
Someone with a camera like yours will need to comment on the zoom thing. As for the focus settings, the camera needs contrast to help focus. When I was practicing I noted right away that using center spot right on the sun resulted in the camera being unable to focus. Use a wide enough area to allow the camera to catch the edge of the sun helped. I am probably gong to use zone or something similar.

I don't know if the DRO does anything in RAW, I suspect not. If shooting in jpeg I would use it, but not in RAW. You could probably program it temporarily to a button and toggle it on and off. Taking shots both ways if your unsure would be good insurance.
Thanks. Much appreciated.
God bless,
Genesius
 
More questions.
Here are my settings for shooting the corona.
  • Mode: Manual
  • Shutter speed: 1/30s
  • Aperture: f/8
  • ISO: 100
  • Bracketing: Cont. Bracket: 3.0EV 5 Image
How is this achieved since I am in Manual Mode and not using Auto ISO? Will the Aperture and/or Shutter speed change +/- with each image? Is Manual the correct mode to use if I want the exposure change to be only with the Shutter Speed?

Thanks and God bless,
Genesius 🙏📸
 
Setting up my memory slots for the eclipse and I have a couple of more settings questions.
I have Dave Busch's book "Sony A6300/ILCE-6300 Guide to Digital Photography". For those who have this book, on page 39 is an pic of the Display All Info screen on the LCD. I went through each of the symbols on my LCD.
  1. Since I will be shooting in Manual Mode, using a tripod, and manually focusing, does the setting Focus Area (Wide, Zone, Center, Flexible Spot, Expand Flexible Spot, Lock-On AF) matter?
  2. Should I set DRO to Auto (default) or turn it off?
  3. When in the Display All Info screen there is a blinking -2.0 at the bottom of the screen, just right of center. According Busch's book, this is a Zoom indicator. However, both in Camera Settings screen 3 Zoom Setting and Custom Settings screen 6 Zoom, are grayed out. Since my SEL18200 OSS lens is not a PZ (power zoom), should I be worried about this blinking?
Thanks and God bless,
Genesius
The blinking -2.0 is the exposure meter. When it is blinking either 2.0 or -2.0 it means that the exposure is over/under exposed by more than 2 stops.

More questions.
Here are my settings for shooting the corona.
  • Mode: Manual
  • Shutter speed: 1/30s
  • Aperture: f/8
  • ISO: 100
  • Bracketing: Cont. Bracket: 3.0EV 5 Image
How is this achieved since I am in Manual Mode and not using Auto ISO? Will the Aperture and/or Shutter speed change +/- with each image? Is Manual the correct mode to use if I want the exposure change to be only with the Shutter Speed?

Thanks and God bless,
Genesius 🙏📸
The camera will change the Shutter Speed.

This question will sound harsh but it isn't meant to be. Why have you just not tried this to see what it will do?
 
The blinking -2.0 is the exposure meter. When it is blinking either 2.0 or -2.0 it means that the exposure is over/under exposed by more than 2 stops.


The camera will change the Shutter Speed.

This question will sound harsh but it isn't meant to be. Why have you just not tried this to see what it will do?
That is not a harsh question at all.
In this post, Sony A6300 Changes Settings on Its Own, you can read about how my A6300 was changing settings on its own. I'm hoping I fixed it by separating the contacts within the USB port. I have been leary of taking pics with the camera except for the Sun.
As for the Sun. This past weekend in NJ it was beautiful, clear skies and 20 mph winds. My filter and glasses kept blowing off, etc. All this week, it has been cold and rainy, so no practice shooting the Sun.
I am looking for answers because I am getting anxious over this: camera not functioning properly; weather not cooperating; 6-mile drive to point of totality; and other issues.
Weather in Central NJ issupposed to be clearer today. Hope to get out and try those settings with the Sun.
Thank you for your answer.
God bless,
Genesius
 
You don't need the sun or the weather to be good to test what some features will do. If you want to see what bracketing will do setup the bracketing feature and then take pictures of any random object, leave whatever exposure settings you currently have. You will then be able to review the images and see what the settings the camera used. The first will have the settings you selected and then the next ones will be (based on your earlier statement) 1 stop over exposed, then 1 stop under then 2 stops over and finally 2 stops under for a total of 5 images.
You can test the blinking of the +/-2.0 by pointing the camera at a light and then either slowly covering the light or moving the camera to point at some area that is dark, you will see the +2.0 blinking stop blinking the meter indicator moving from the + side to the - side and then eventually blink -2.0.

6-mile drive to point of totality;
NJ installed a teleportation device? Is that how you get out of paying to leave your state? I know you meant 6 hours.
 
Update.
There was a break in the weather and clouds this afternoon and I was able to shoot 360 images using various bracketing settings of the Sun. Nearly 200 are trash (Sun not in the image). I couldn't find it with the solar filter. The last 160 I figured it: opento the widest aperture and set the shutter as slow as possible. Then the Sun appeared in my LCD. With only a 200 mm, not much reach to focus the rim of the Sun. But I have some bracketed images to pour through and select (fingers crossed) what settings I'll use on the partials on Monday. Now we need the weather in Upstate New York, off Lake Ontario, to cooperate.
God bless,
Genesius 🙏📸☀️🌑
 
Update.
There was a break in the weather and clouds this afternoon and I was able to shoot 360 images using various bracketing settings of the Sun. Nearly 200 are trash (Sun not in the image). I couldn't find it with the solar filter. The last 160 I figured it: opento the widest aperture and set the shutter as slow as possible. Then the Sun appeared in my LCD. With only a 200 mm, not much reach to focus the rim of the Sun. But I have some bracketed images to pour through and select (fingers crossed) what settings I'll use on the partials on Monday. Now we need the weather in Upstate New York, off Lake Ontario, to cooperate.
God bless,
Genesius 🙏📸☀️🌑
Here are 4 HDR's created from 9 bracketed images. They were HDR'd (9, 7, 5 and 3 images).
Thoughts?
Thanks and God bless,
Genesius 🙏 📸☀️🌑 DSC07513-hdr.jpg DSC07514-hdr.jpg DSC07515-hdr.jpg DSC07516-hdr.jpg DSC07521.jpg DSC07520.jpg DSC07519.jpg DSC07518.jpg DSC07517.jpg DSC07516.jpg DSC07515.jpg DSC07514.jpg DSC07513.jpg
 
Providing updates for all who were very helpful in this and other posts.
Had the opportunity to experience double totality: I was in the path of totality AND we had 100% total cloud cover. Not even partials were visible. The one saving grace was during totality we experienced 360 degree sunset. Pictures will follow in a future post.
EDITED: Apologies. Because of the issues with my A6300 wonking out, my 360 degree pics are from my point-and-shoot Kodak AZ405, which I can't post here.
Thanks and God bless,
Genesius 🙏 📸
 
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