Well, it was definitely worth the hype. I sure didn’t perform perfectly in capturing the photographs that I wanted, but the experience along with what I did capture still had me coming away with feeling I had a great experience. Some of my conclusions I definitely want to remember for the next time:
1) Focus. My lens was consistently needing to be refocused. This is something I heard from other photographers as well. I assume this must be due to the changing temperatures from sitting in the sun, but the problem didn’t seem to go away. This was really a problem when I removed the solar filter for totality. In the heat of the moment I failed to think about focus until it was really too late. This had a negative effect on getting critical sharp images during Bailey’s beads and the diamond ring. Next time I will check as often as I can.
2) Bracketing during totality. My 7D mkii is equipped to take serious bracketed shots. Unfortunately, I failed to review how to do this automatically prior to the eclipse. I could have taken ~14 tightly bracketed shots in no time during totality. Instead, I barely pulled off three or so that were probably too widely spaced to create the final composite I was hoping for. It wasn’t a complete wash, but it could have been so much better.
3) Importance of aperture. I wasn’t thinking much of totality when I chose the aperture that I did. During totality, it is much more important to pick a smaller aperture that will get you those nice starbursts and critical focus then to worry about letting in more light to avoid digital noise. This will also help with focusing in general and getting sharp focus of the solar flares.
I’m sure there are other improvements I could make. With about 7 years to prepare, I won’t make the same mistakes again.