When I’m not busy with my day job, as producer for Seattle video production company, Goodside Studio, I’m a Northwest Astrophotographer. I’ve been shooting pictures of our galaxy, in conjunction with Oregon and Washington landscapes for several years.
As this year’s solar eclipse approached, a number of people asked if I’d be shooting it. Initially, I didn’t think I would. My calendar is full of creative and work projects, and I didn’t feel I had a unique idea for capturing the eclipse. I knew plenty of other photographers would shoot it, so I only wanted to pursue the shot if I could do offer a different perspective. Then it hit me – Live Stream It!
The learning curve around shooting the Sun wasn’t too steep. The most important thing is to use an adequate filter, to avoid frying the camera sensor. I was surprised by how much zoom it takes to get frame-filling image of the sun. I decided to shoot on a Canon C-100 with a 400mm lens, and a 2x extender, for an effective lens length of 800mm.
The real challenge came when the weather in Seattle started looking unreliable. I’d invited clients, colleagues, family and friends to watch the eclipse live on Facebook, and I wasn’t about to let the weather put the show at risk, so I headed over the mountains to certain clear skies.
The next task was to find fair to decent data signal for up-streaming. We have adequate signal in virtually all of Western Washington, but rural Eastern Washington is a bit less reliable. I settled on Ellensburg, and set up camp at an intersection near Central Washington University.
Here’s a compilation video showing three points during the eclipse.
Beyond sharing this historic event, I wanted to demonstrate a powerful advantage of live streaming through a professional camera – real lenses, with significant zoom.
While your subject is unlikely to be 93,000,000 miles away, it can feel as though they are, when you’re shooting a subject on stage, twenty feet or farther away, with a camera or tablet. The zoom capabilities on those little cameras is inadequate, and the audio is usually indecipherable.
GoodSide Studio is one Seattle’s premiere video production companies. We offer scalable, professional live streaming services to organizations throughout the Northwest. Professional cameras and microphones allow us to focus in on the action with a clear, stable shot, and clean, crisp audio. Check out our Live Streaming Services page for more information.