Capturing the Solar Eclipse: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Photographer’s Gear and Process

Posted by: on Apr 22, 2024

Capturing the Solar Eclipse: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Photographer’s Gear and Process

As the much-anticipated solar eclipse unfolded on April 8th, 2024, photographers around the world geared up to capture this celestial spectacle. Renowned photographers Dustin Snipes and Robert Gallucci utilized Tether Tools end-to-end photography solutions to capture their eclipse photographs. Let’s delve into their unique setups and the remarkable images they captured.

Dustin’s Process:

Dustin Snipes, well known for his dynamic and daring shots, faced a thrilling challenge presented by Red Bull: capturing two Red Bull pilots flying during the totality of the eclipse. This ambitious endeavor demanded meticulous planning, innovative problem-solving, and an arsenal of trusted photography equipment. One of the primary challenges was ensuring precise alignment between the eclipse, the planes, and the sun.

“I recognized the need to tether my 4 cameras to a laptop using the specialty software, Smart Shooter 5. This decision was driven by Red Bull’s desire to upload as fast as possible after the event. By tethering the cameras, we could monitor and manage multiple perspectives simultaneously, ensuring that every angle of this monumental event was captured and I was getting the shots I needed. Amid these complexities, we remained positive in our commitment to capturing this once-in-a-lifetime moment,” Dustin said.

Dustin’s gear lineup reads like a photographer’s dream: multiple Canon R5 bodies paired with an array of lenses ranging from 600mm f4 to 200-600mm, supplemented by Sony A1 and A9 III cameras. To combat the challenges of light degradation at high altitudes, Dustin utilized Outbound lighting Mt. bike lights to illuminate the planes, ensuring each detail was perfectly captured. The tethering software Smart Shooter 5 has a Multi-Camera Capture feature which allows multiple cameras (up to 10) to be tethered simultaneously. 

Dustin’s Eclipse Gear:


  • Canon R5
  • Sony A1
  • Sony A9 III


  • 600mm f4
  • 70-200 2.8 +1.4x
  • 200-400 f4 x1.4
  • 200-600
  • 600 x2x teleconverter, Canon 14-35 f4


  • 2×10 Stop ND
  • 2×15 Stop ND
  • 1x9stop VND
  • H-Alpha Filter-canon
  • 3xSolar Filter – 6×6
  • 3xSolar Filter – 8×8
  • Kolari Vision UV/ir Alpha Pass
  • Canon VND Drop in filter
  • 2xSquare filter holder
  • Star Filter 77mm
  • 8×10 Glass 16 stop ND
  • Halo Filter



  • Lights 3 x Broncolor 1200L
  • 3 x Move heads
  • 2 x hyper reflector @15
  • 1 x P45 reflectors
  • Eclipse plastic glasses

“Thanks to the help of countless people, from the pilots, Pete Mcloed and Kevin Coleman, to Luke Aikens for lining us up with the pilots during the eclipse, to all the people that helped get us there in the first place. Thanks again to Mason Mashon, having another seasoned photographer there to tackle these problems with his expertise was a great advantage. This was a group effort and I appreciate everyone involved. Thank you for this once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Dustin.

Robert’s Process:

With passion and the right gear, Robert Gallucci captured every breathtaking moment of this rare eclipse. Robert’s preparation was comprehensive. His goal? To create a system that any photographer with a modern camera could use to capture every critical moment of the eclipse. Delving into every available resource on photographing eclipses, he studied the science behind the event and thoroughly analyzed the capabilities of various camera brands.

“As the eclipse was going to be at 66 degrees, we needed many practice sessions to get comfortable with the angle. We purchased both Baader and Solarlite filters and created contact sheets exploring exposures at three different apertures, ISOs, and many shutter speeds so we would know beforehand what the best settings for the partial phase would be. Then, we met with our students, taught them what we now knew, and created exercises for them to do on their own to be prepared. Even with all that, we had our group arrive at our Texas shooting location four days early so that we could dry-run the shoot and create muscle memory for the day of the event,” said Robert.

The only thing out of Robert’s control was the weather. With doomsayer forecasts starting weeks before the event, concerns loomed. However, being in the Texas hill country, Robert believed they had the best chance for clear skies. Though the patchwork of cumulus clouds overhead provided breaks, capturing every critical moment of the eclipse remained a challenge.

Robert’s Eclipse Gear:

To ensure success, Robert meticulously selected his gear:

Camera One:

  • Canon R5
  • Canon EF 800mm ƒ5.6 lens
  • Thousand Oaks Optical Solarlite Filter
  • Tether Tools ONsite A Relay & Camera Coupler
  • Jackery Explorer 300 Plus Power Supply
  • ProMedia Gear L Bracket
  • Celestron AVX Mount and Tripod
  • Vello Intervalometer
  • Gura Gear Kiboko 30L Camera Bag

Camera Two:

Camera Three:

  • Canon 5D III
  • Canon EF 16-35 ƒ4 Lens
  • Gitzo Tripod
  • Wimberley WH-200 Gimbal Head w Perpendicular plate
  • Breakthrough Filters 15-stop ND
  • Vello Intervalometer

Reflecting on the experience, Robert shared, “In the past, we have shot many eclipses, both annular and lunar. None of those prepared me for the experience of totality. It was one of life’s most dramatic and fulfilling moments.” Despite his extensive preparation, the hardest part for Robert was not becoming paralyzed in awe of the event.

“As totality ended, and we reset our cameras to shoot the rest of the event, there were raucous celebrations,” Robert recounted. “For me and my other workshop leader, after all the work we put in, there was a massive sense of relief and pure joy, a feeling of accomplishment that words can’t fully capture!”


Both Dustin Snipes’ and Robert Gallucci’s journey to capture the 2024 solar eclipse was one of meticulous planning, dedication, and sheer passion for photography. Through their experiences, the two photographers demonstrated that with the right gear and unwavering commitment, capturing nature’s most extraordinary events is not just a possibility but a rewarding achievement.

At Tether Tools, we’re committed to empowering photographers with the tools they need to realize their vision. As we continue to support photographers worldwide, we’re inspired by their ingenuity and dedication to capturing the extraordinary. Remember, whether you’re a seasoned photographer or just starting out, Tether Tools is here to support your creative journey every step of the way.