Dale Gerhard had been preparing for several years. You need to be prepared when the next opportunity is in 105 years. You get one opportunity in photography. One shot when the subjects, the light, all of the elements in front of you are composed and will never appear that way again. And shooting the transit of Venus is a stellar example. “I wanted to have the concrete ship in the image to give it a sense of place,’ Dale explained of his plan to photograph the transit of Venus across the sun on Tuesday at Cape May Point. “If the rainstorm didn’t come up and cover the sun, wow, it would have been a great image” Although the rain did spoil his plans, Dale captured about 25 great frames of the small planet passing by the giant ball. What the rain did provide was a natural filter to block the strong rays of the sun allowing Dale to photograph it without special filters. The photograph here was shot with a Canon EOS 7D, on a tripod with a 300mm f 2.8 lens and a 2x converter. He chose an ISO of 200 and an aperture that was three stops under exposure (f45) and a shutter speed of 1/5000 of a second. In order to get sharpness throughout the image, Dale focused on the passing clouds then swung the lens to point into the sun and make his exposures.
Venus crosses the sun as seen from Cape May Point. Photograph by Dale Gerhard