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How to make an eclipse sequence in Photoshop, Solar eclipses and Lunar eclipses

You have photographed an eclipse, now what? Colin shows you how to make an eclipse Sequence in Photoshop, this works for Solar Eclipses + Lunar eclipses.

I just returned from shooting the total solar eclipse in Casper Wyoming. Let’s use some of my photos and walk through exactly how I created my Eclipse sequenced images

Here are a few of my images. I have a BTS video coming soon!

Follow me on Instagram to see my photos.

Thanks for checking it out!

Great see you you here at the CAFE



Hey, Cafe Crew, it’s Colin Smith here from Photoshop Cafe. And today, I am going to show you how to create a sequence from an eclipse. So the same technic works for a solar eclipse and it also works for a lunar eclipse. I’ve just got back from Casper, Wyoming where I got to shoot the full solar eclipse.
Now, this was a life changing experience. It was incredible like you just kind of imagine it like you are sitting there, it is daylight although the light looks kind of little ere, a little different and then, all of a sudden it is like, someone takes a dimmer switch and it just goes like that. And just in a few seconds, it just fades into darkness. Then you look up at the sky and you just see the sun up there, just black, this black circle with this glow just around it, just blazing, it is an incredible sight and I am going to take you guys behind the scenes on that entire journey on another video. I am going to have that edited in the next day or two and I am going to put it up. Check it out!
So until then, let’s jump in and look at processing these images right now and creating a sequence from the time lapse of the entire eclipse from the beginning.
And if you want to see some of my photos, just check them out on Instagram at Photoshop Cafe.
So anyway, here are some of the photos that I have taken. Actually I took a lot more than this but I have just kind of isolated them down to this so that I can kind of show you the steps without of that being overwhelming.
So, I am starting in light room, you could start a bridge if you want and what you are going to do, is just essentially find the best photo that each part of the phase as we can see here. Coming into the eclipse and then going out. I want you to take all the photos, hit Ctrl + A, to select them all.
And then what we are going to do is, we are going to right click here and we are going to choose edit and Photoshop and then we are going to get down to ‘Open As Layers’ in Photoshop. Alright so, this is what you want to do, so you are just going to click this and then what it is going to do is it is going to go to Photoshop and it is going to load all these into layers.
Alright, and then once you have everything in here, you are going to notice that we are going to have everything stacked up in layers here. Now if we click through here, we can see each one of the phases in there.
Alright, so I am going to show you couple of tricks that’s going to make this so easy. All we need to do is click at the top and go to the bottom and what I have done there is I just held down Shift and then now it is selected all layers.
Now all we are going to do is change the blend mode to lighten and once we hit lighten, look at that, we can see all of our suns right there. Okay, so one of the things we are going to find here is that probably do not have enough space. So I am going to zoom out here.
Alright, so let’s crop this and we can actually do it with the crop tool here. Just make sure, you hit clear, get rid of any presets and then just hit the Alt or the Option key and then we are going to drag from the middle and we can widen that out and if you want to make it a little taller, you can also do that.
So, just hit enter and what we can do is, yes we can actually crop-out image a lot larger.
So we need to put some kind of a background, so we are just going to create a background and make sure it goes on the bottom. So we just click new layer and then we have got that background. And we want to fill it up with black.
So hit the D key, that resets the foreground and the background to black and white. Now to fill this with black which is now the foreground on Mac. Grab the option key on Windows, grab the Alt key and hit Delete and now we are going to fill it with black and we have got all our objects on there.
And then what we want to do is we want to kind of organize the left from the right. So the way to do this is to click the top layer and then we can see this totality. And we are going to make sure we set that as the center. Well how do you find the center, well, it is quite easy. You grab that and hit Ctrl + T.
See that is the background layer and now we see those little grids. So if we hit Ctrl + R for rulers then we just click and drag out and then we click to drag out there and then just hit the Escape key. What we have done is that we have now found the center of the document.
Okay, so let’s put Totality right into the center and I am just going to nudge up with my Arrow keys. Perfect!
Okay, so now we are going to hide it and we are going to start on the top. Okay, where are we, okay, we have got an image there. Then we grab the next one. Okay, we are going to put that one on the other side. Let’s just kind of find wherever things are going.
Okay, so those are all on the left side, so I am going to hit Ctrl + G to group them and just double check, yup, everything on that side is there. So we are going to call this one ‘Left’. And let’s grab the ones that are on the other side, Ctrl + G and we are going to call that ‘Right’.
And let’s have a look.
Okay, yup, all the images are on the left and all the images on the right.
So what we want to do is just make sure we have got these organized just in order of how they appear to make life a little bit easier.
Alright, so we have got the left and the right and on Totality. Now, I see a little bit of white around there. So we can fix that, I am just going to select and hit Ctrl + L for levels and if I just grab the shadow a little bit, see that, bam! That cleans that up.
Alright, so what we want to do is we nicely want to arrange these and we want to space them on the edges. So how many have we got, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 1, 2, 3, 4. 5. 6. So two sixes are twelve and this one makes 13. So we have got 13 spaces that we want to set up. Okay, this is the quick and easy way to do it.
We get on to the view menu and we go down here and we go to ‘New Guide’, and what we are going to do is, we are going to create ‘New Guide Layout’. We want 13 columns and that’s set up and how much space do we want in between them, we want to, the gutter right now is 20. Let me drag that out a little bit more and we want to get it pretty close to the width of one of our suns. So what I am doing is I am just looking here, just kind of messing the gutter, so that we get a pretty close and now, we are just going to click Okay. So what we have done now is that we have created guides that we can use for our Totality. So I am just going to click on here and I am going to get to the very top and I am going to click on here and I am going to go to the bottom. So what we have done is we have just created spaces. Now if you wanted these to be further apart or closer, you have to just change the gutter size.
So let’s start on the right side and I am going to click on the very top and the first one I get is right there.
Alright, so there we go, so make sure on the left hand side, you have got these aligned with the bottom and on the right hand side, make sure that these are aligned at the top. And so the eclipse went from the top left, all the way down to the bottom right, so this is literally seeing there’s the moon travelling across to Totality, it keeps moving left and down and so there we go.
So the last thing we need to do is just go under the view here and choose to ‘Clear Guides’ and it gets rid of them. Now, if you wanted you could have added a couple more columns or you can actually just re-crop this to fit now. So let’s go down here, maybe want to re-crop this a little bit because we have got some stuff on the edges. So hit the Alt key or the option as we pull out, that will give us the same amount of space on both ends. Hit enter to nicely finish this off. And make sure you fill that with black. And there we go!
We have created our eclipse sequence. So you can see using these different techniques that really saves a lot of time.
So, I hope you have enjoyed this video. Don’t forget to check out my other video which might be up now if not, it will be up in a day or two of the behind the scenes journey up to Casper, Wyoming to shoot the solar eclipse. We would join with the Cannon Team, Russel Brown, we have got a good little group of us of about 15 of us, had this exciting adventure.
So I would love you guys to check it out and see how we shot all of these.
So anyway, if you liked this video and you like these kind of tutorials which I do at least once a week, hit the subscribe button right now on YouTube. If you are a subscriber, make sure you hit that bell there to get a notification whenever I post a new video.
So anyway, if you liked this smash that ‘Like’ button into dust, add a comment, let’s get a discussion going and until next time, I will see you at the Cafe.



2 responses to “How to make an eclipse sequence in Photoshop, Solar eclipses and Lunar eclipses”

  1. Wow, you make it look easy. I love the tip on making the evenly spaced columns in the view mode. I assume if you did rows along with columns is how you could line them up diagonally. Great little tutorial.

  2. I was counting on you to bring stellar images of the eclipse! LOL My little grandson and I only got to see the eclipse in a shoe box I fixed to view it with. Hopefully, he caught the gist of what we were viewing. We were able to see it with a sizable chunk of the sun missing where we were in Florida.
    Thank you for sharing what you do!

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