During the recent total solar eclipse in Chile, professional outdoor photographer Ted Hesser was on hand on an indie film shoot to help do something that had never been done before: capture a movie scene with totality as the backdrop.
Having captured viral photos of a climber in front of totality during the solar eclipse over the United States back in 2017, Hesser was brought in to consult (to help line up the shot) and to shoot still photos for the upcoming indie movie Nomad, directed by filmmaker Taron Lexton.
“The logistics, timing, and sheer blue-collar work required to make this happen was staggering,” Hesser tells PetaPixel. “From positioning, to camera rigging, to rehearsing, to wardrobe, to sound, to moving big boulders in a small rectangle so that the cinema cameras could move freely. It was a huge effort.
“All told it took a team of ten, 3 days of 12+ hours of prep to get it all dialed so that when totality happened, we were ready.”
But even with all that planning and preparation, you still have just a 2-minute window during which the moon is fully blocking the sun to get the perfect shot.
“It still felt like a coin toss as to whether we would nail it,” Hesser says. “Totality was so hectic. During the 2 minutes of totality, we set up 3-4 shots over the length of about a football field, on uneven cactus-strewn land, running in the dark with massive tripods and an Arri Alexa LF camera with a 1500mm cinema lens.
“The camera actually fell off the tripod at one point but was caught or held on to by someone moving it. Basically, all things told, we pulled this shoot off by the skin of our teeth.”
“Murphy’s law in full effect, my tripod actually broke right at totality,” Hesser says. “So I went hand-held in a split-second decision. I also had a 2x teleconverter on a Nikon 500mm f/5.6 prime lens but decided that I wanted to use a higher aperture in the moment to have more striking sun flares. The 2x teleconverter was creating weird artifacts so I took that off rather quickly as well.
“All of this happened while constantly running backwards and repositioning. We were repositioning our actors a half-mile away by radio as well. It was hectic!”
If you like these eclipse photos, keep your eye out for the release of Nomad — Hesser says the scene the crew captured is “one-of-a-kind” and “mind-blowing.”
Source of the article – PetaPixel