#DoddPro Roger Mastroianni spent some time in St. Louis, Missouri on Monday experiencing and photographing the Eclipse. We sat down with him to discuss his experience and check out his work!
What expectations did you have about photographing the eclipse?
I thought photographing the eclipse would be more of an event for astronomers with their telescopes on equatorial mounts and wanted to stay away from the crowds and traffic jams because of all the hype and interest in the solar event. I was a little concerned about the weather and in the end was lucky enough to get the shot just before the clouds moved in.
Why did you decide to travel to see and photograph the eclipse?
Seeing the Total Eclipse of the Sun is something that I've wanted to experience since I witnessed a partial eclipse in 1994. The fact that you could choose from so many locations across the United States made traveling a no brainer. I chose St Louis, Missouri to shoot the eclipse because my daughter is a student at Washington University in St Louis and it was an opportunity to visit with her. I'm more familiar with St. Louis and knew it would be easier to get around than Nashville or the Western United States.
How did you photograph it?
I arrived early to claim a spot that I had scoped out the day before. I waited in the 99 degree heat, tracking the sun with my solar glasses until 1:18 PM CST when the Eclipse occurred. I had chosen the St. Louis Arch because I knew the eclipse would be at such a high elevation in the sky and needed something to frame it with.
What equipment did you use, and why?
I used the Sony A9 and the new Sony 100-400mm F/4-5.6 Lens with an 18 stop ND filter for the partial eclipse and then no filter during the total eclipse. I chose a Sony mirrorless camera because of their live-view capabilities, which offered me extra eye protection when compared with an optical viewfinder. I did use a Nikon D810 and the PhaseOne Fx for the wide views.
What was your experience? Was it profound, or not?
Experiencing the eclipse was a profoundly moving experience. Being able to be in the right spot at the right time as predicted by science and witnessing the moon block out the sun, watching the street lights turn on in the middle of the day and hearing the crickets chirp confused by the darkness was an other worldly experience.