Since it was a clear night, I knew the base exposure would be minus 1 stop from Sunny 16. F11 and 1/100 with ISO 100 would do.
My lens is sharpest around f8 so by opening up aperture 1 stop, I could increase my shutter speed 1 stop to 1/200. From experience, I wanted at least that shutter speed. The relative motion from Earths rotation can blur the exposure with a very long lens.
One last exposure variable came into play. I added a 1.5x teleconvertor to make my 300mm lens a 450mm lens. But that comes at the cost of 1 stop so I increased my ISO to 200 to compensate.
In sum, I set my exposure before I went outside to photograph and never used a meter. Its not magic, its just a well understood exposure. And of course, after making a an exposure or two, just look at your histogram and adjust. That’s how I compensate as the exposure changes through an eclipse. It’s really how I shoot everything. Simply use Sunny16 as a base ( EV15 at ISO 100) and adjust from there.
Lastly is mounting to a tripod, a careful focus ( auto or manual or try both) and if possible, use a delayed shutter with a Mirror Lockup and a remote shutter release. Make enough exposures so you’re confident you have very good focus on a few.
The final step is editing and preparation for presentation. Its my habit to record RAW images so I can make all decisions vs the camera manufacturer’s built-in JPEG algorithms. This image was mostly edited in Adobe Camera Raw aka the Develop Module in Lightroom. I did open it up in Photoshop to add text, then used the Image Processor in Bridge to make the JPEG the size I wanted ( 720). Finally I sharpened it with the Pixel Genius plugin and an PS Action I wrote long ago.
Gear used in this post: Pentax K5IIs camera, Sigma 100-300/4 lens, Kenko 1.5x TC, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with Manfrotto 488RC2 Ball Head and Vello Wired Remote
Editing Tools used in this post: Adobe CC2015, Nik Collection, Pixel Genius Photokit, Wacom Intuos Pro Tablet, Pantone Huey Pro