Solar eclipse is one of the popular event for astronomer and most of the people, it only happens twice a year in average. The last time I saw the solar eclipse in Malaysia was back in 2009 during Chinese New Year. Solar eclipse can only happen at the new moon, when Sun and Moon are in conjunction as seen from earth.
Before the solar eclipse I try to survey a few locations, I need my subject to be relatively simple and straight away can tell where is it, because shooting your subject in silhouettes mean you are shooting back light and your subject only show in outline.
The tools I used to plan my shooting was The Photographer's Ephemeris. This software can let you plan your location ahead from sunrise to sunset or moon rise to moon set. and the best part is free for web version. After done some of my home works I decided to shoot the solar eclipse with Penang Bridge, since is a sunrise and facing east, is quite easy for me to located the shooting place.
On the solar eclipse morning, the sky was pretty bad, very hazy and a bit of cloudy but luckily the sun turn out with its beautiful red colour. I can't say the software is 100% precisely tell the location but at least it gave you a rough location and from there you work it out your composition. The first shot i get was pretty bad, the sun was rise between the pillars, luckily there were still places for me to move around in that location and get the shot I want.
In Malaysia we roughly can get 70% of the solar eclipse, after the first location I know I still got time for a second location shot, and my second plan was shooting the solar eclipse with the mosque. Initially I'm planing to shoot at the Kapitan Keling Mosque but due to massive traffic jam I have to change my location to the state mosque. Although the location is not that perfect but somehow I still manage to get a few shots which I like.