Chris Brule charges off a natural feature underneath the Grand Teton on the Total Solar Eclipse, August 21st in Teton Valley, Wyoming.
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Chris Brule charges off a natural feature underneath the Grand Teton on the Total Solar Eclipse, August 21st in Teton Valley, Wyoming.

44 Comments

  • + 57
 Greetings friendly internetters! I know there are some questions on this image, and I have some answers. With that said, this image was captured on August 21st 2017 during the Total Solar Eclipse in Teton Valley Wyoming. This image was captured using an in camera double exposure, thats two images combined into one image in camera, no photoshop. Capturing this image took a ton of planning, scouting, and trouble shooting. To be honest, I made a few mistakes that almost devastated me (and on the mountainside that day...I already knew what mistakes I made)...

1. Approaching totality I should have given more consideration to the test framing and size of the sun in the frame, I positioned the eclipse in the upper right hand corner of the image...knowing that is where I wanted the Eclipse in the final image...*However, looking through a dark viewfinder the sun looked muuuuch smaller with no frame of reference around it, therefore I thought the size was good). Immediately following totality I knew that I shot it too large in the frame...whoops, guess I wasn't thinking to clearly, I beat myself up on that one, but knew it wouldn't be helpful in the long run!

2. My second mistake was never double-checking to make sure my camera worked perfectly. Three weeks prior I was filming flyfishing for a client and took a spill while crossing the river. I was able to recover my 5DIII using a bag of rice, sending the camera into Canon as well for a cleaning. Upon receiving the repair quote, I decided not to proceed...because the camera still functioned besides sound recording for video. What I didn't know...is that camera's hot shoe had been damaged. Therefore on the day of the Eclipse...when I went to capture the second image in the sequence...I soon realized my wireless transmitter for the flashes wasn't communicating with the flashes due to the water damage. If I would have double checked all procedures beforehand, I would have used my backup camera (since during a double exposure you can't switch camera...removing the card and placing it in another). Therefore I had to trouble-shoot with only minutes of daylight left, eventually realizing I could utilize the "Poor mans wireless strobe technique" (which I used to use years ago when I started shooting off-camera flash photography).

With that said, I knew I could manually fire the wireless flash transmitter in my hand, however the shutter speed had to be slow enough to give me enough time to start the exposure when the athlete was on the in-run....proceeding to manually fire the wireless flashes when the athlete was in the perfect spot in the air... (also trying to make sure I timed the exposure correctly to where the exposure on the camera would end a split second after manually firing the flashes...to ensure the athlete's body wouldn't be see-through, due to the camera exposing the image after the athlete had landed).

Finally, you may realize the image is a little grainy...and you see that for a few reasons. During a double-exposure...the first image in the on-camera sequence needs to be shot with the same ISO settings as the second. Knowing that my typical wirelessly flashed twilight images are captured around 800ISO - 2000ISO, I knew I had to shoot the first image in the sequence around 1600ISO (not ideal for eclipse photography, but necessary to capture my idea). Given the camera's hot shoe functioning issue, I had to take a 2.5 second exposure for the second image @1600 ISO and manually trigger the wireless flashes...therefore you can imagine that there will be a little lens flare along with a little pixelation at those camera settings...however it was the only way to capture the image I was after.

Anyway, there you have it, for the folks with questions. There's much more to this story, and tears were shed for this image, it was an unbelievable experience in and of itself, combined with the physical and mental challenges of expectations and trouble-shooting the problems that arose. Regardless, I've stopped beating myself up for the mistakes I made that day, I'm thankful to have had friends like Chris Brule, Evan Grott, and Blake Sommer helping me throughout the day along with the approaching weeks of the Eclipse, chasing down an image I dreamed up. I'm stoked on the result, and more than anything, I hope you all had the chance to witness the Eclipse as well, because that was bad ass!
  • + 26
 You don't need to explain yourself to all the haters. Shot's sick, keep up the good work! Awesome way to capture a unique celestial moment.
  • + 4
 Composite or not it is a great shot. Have you got it in higher resolution (size)? Would be great as a wallpaper!
  • + 3
 Thank you
  • + 4
 Amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All the haters will have to try in a 100 years for the next total eclipse!
  • + 5
 Amazing picture! While I'm no photographer, I'm glad went the all of the trouble you did to put this epic shot together. I was lucky enough to view the eclipse here in Oregon and get a few amateur photos (www.pinkbike.com/photo/15709940), but I can only imagine the planning and execution that went in to putting this together! Cheers to a worthy POD!
  • + 3
 Dude, awesome shot! Forget the haters they're just jealous they don't have the skills, patience or ideas.
  • + 1
 @webermtb: Thank you brother! Send me an email and we'll work something out! noah@noahdavidwetzel.com
  • + 1
 @jefe: haha thanks brother, I appreciate it! I did just want to explain the shot a bit more, just for those that were curious! All the best man and thank you for your support!
  • + 1
 @jarrod801: haha ha I love this! haha thanks Jarrod!
  • + 1
 @boardnz: Thank you my man! I really appreciate it!!
  • + 10
 Photography is a two dimensional abstract of reality.
All photographs on the covers of glossy magazines have been modified greatly.
Non edited images are rather boring.
Remember Amsel Adams?
Composite images. Read about his craft in the dark room. Huge amounts of dodging and burning.
Sometimes using more than one negative.

Photography translates to painting or drawing with light.
Do what ever you want to create an image that is pleasing.
Ignore the tight assed "pro"photographers that force rules on what a photograph is.
In journalism your image can not be fabricated. No kidding!
Thank god I label my self an Art photographer.
Freedom of expression.
  • + 3
 It's not possible for the moon to appear anywhere near this large at 28mm. Unless this frame was massively cropped... The rest of the EXIF looks a bit dicey as well, just saying.
  • + 5
 I'd love to know what's going on here... www.instagram.com/p/BgDC6VaBOJC
  • + 12
 @natedh9 very observant but can we just appreciate this image, composite or not? I personally think it's badass!
  • + 4
 100% certain that this is a composite image, a very well done one, since It took me a couple seconds. Writing it under the picture seems like the right thing to do. But still. Cool shot.
  • + 10
 Personally, I don’t think composites should be photo of the day, it’s digital art, not photography.
  • + 3
 @mattwragg: I think they can, but they should be labeled. It´s an absolute NoGo in Documentary photography, but for biking, why not. Otherwise, it gives people outside of photography the perception that this is possible to photograph. Which isn´t really fair to photographers who play with the physical limits of what photography has to offer.
  • + 11
 @Airik: It's an absolute no go in any editorial/sports photography unless it's submitted specifically as a manipulation - if you sent this to Reuters, Red Bull or Getty as a photo, you'd be blacklisted. My feeling is that it's better for people to learn this as early as possible, because anybody serious about taking photos for anything more than a hobby needs to know and understand that.
  • + 14
 Relax guys, its a composite. You may go on living your lives.
  • + 2
 @mattwragg: 100% hundred percent with you here, it has to be explicitly labeled as a Manipulation.
  • + 8
 @brianpark: let me know what questions you have, I'd be happy to answer them. With that said, I had a couple different cameras set up that day shooting different settings. Only one I could use for the in-camera double exposure, however in one of the frames before the first frame used in the sequence, I happened to capture the image in the link above. Also, I left a detailed comment below of how I actually captured the image (I left out the fact that I also used a Singh-Ray GND filter to darken the sky and balance the image to what it looked like during totality), therefore that comment will probably answer most questions! Thank you Brian!
  • + 6
 @captyvatemedia: thank you my man, haha thank you...this crowd is tough around these parts!
  • + 10
 @mattwragg: I think this one is pretty obvious and not a big deal. It's a neat image on a MTB website, not a submission for some kind of prestigious award. No need to put on airs about the purity of photography. The only thing consumers of MTB, BMX, Skateboarding, and Snowboarding media would be concerned with is if a photo is manipulated in some way that alters the rider, the rider's position relative to the terrain, or the scale of the terrain.
  • + 2
 @Airik: Not a pro photographer here, but why would double exposure be considered manipulation? Where is the limit. Is long exposure a no go? Or photography with a stroboscope?
  • + 2
 @mattwragg: Ah Matt, Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man. POD isn't an editorial right? and what's this image counted as for Red Bull illume? A sequence right, as in a composite of multiple exposures. And Noah's already explained this is all in camera so I'd say it's even less of a composite than the illume winner.. www.redbullillume.com/gallery/2016/photo/tristan-lebeschu-category-sequence-564.html
  • + 1
 Now at this stage I'm still curious about what the "pros" have to say about this. To me this effort comes across as true craftmanship and well done. I consider @mattwragg, @airik and @NoahWetzel all professionals so I'm still curious about what is such a "no go" in this double exposure. is a double exposure a no go in sports photography? What about long exposures, photos using a stroboscope etc.? Also, what are composites? I used to think a composite would be a composition of snippets after the picture has been developed. Am I wrong there? I'm no pro though I appreciate photography. Cheers!
  • + 2
 @noahwetzel I must have been only ~5-10 miles away from where you took this shot as I watched the eclipse from Relay Ridge. This image is so sick! I might need to buy a print!
  • + 1
 That was some proper timing. How do you protect your eyes when taking pictures like these? With these protective goggles you can't see anything unless it is as bright as the sun. Not sure if the viewfinder gives you enough protection. Or just look through the LCD screen exclusively, may be the safest thing you can do nowadays.
  • + 2
 As noted above, it's a composite.
As for viewing, no problem. I was in Bend for the Eclipse (7,000 feet up oitside of prineville) and at that point in the transit you could look directly at the sun with no eye protection. It was breathtaking.

And huge props to the photographer for getting the image right. So many of the images I saw after the eclipse sucked because they left the filter needed to shoot the sun before totality was left on. All they ended up with was a halo vs the incredible light show you see above.
  • + 1
 I absolutely love this! (And don’t mind that it’s a composite). I grew up playing on that side of the Tetons, and I’ve done many shots like this and it’s REALLY hard to find a trail that crests with no trees AT an angle with the Tetons and in this case Table Mt too. Love it!

I can relate, through lots of planning I found a spot to take a family pic riding with my wife and kids with the Tetons in the back: m.pinkbike.com/photo/16020137

I also have winter shots suspended over the Tetons with my snowboard. I miss the Tetons!
  • + 4
 Why didn't you submit this for POY?
  • + 1
 No kidding
  • - 5
flag IntoTheEverflow (Mar 19, 2018 at 4:06) (Below Threshold)
 Photoshop of the year.
  • - 7
flag stacykohut (Mar 19, 2018 at 7:03) (Below Threshold)
 @IntoTheEverflow: lol.


so funny.
you win comment of the thread!
  • + 4
 @IntoTheEverflow: Um I bet every shot in this year's POY finals contest went through "Photoshop", Lightroom or some form of post-processing.
  • + 3
 wow amazing shot
  • + 1
 Noooo wayyyyy - same way Bud and Doyle say it!
  • + 2
 So sick man!
  • + 2
 wow!!!!!!
  • + 2
 sehr sehr geil!
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