Saturday, August 1, 2009

Total solar eclipse

This is a photo of the total eclipse of the sun that occurred 10 days ago.  Today's Monthly City Daily Photo Theme is "night."  OK, I know the eclipse of the sun did not occur at night, but a total solar eclipse turns the day into night, so I trust you will agree that it was acceptable for me to take a little liberty and use this photo for today's City Daily Photo Day of "night."

My wife and I just returned yesterday from a trip to the South Pacific to view the July 21 total solar eclipse.  She will run a series of photos of the eclipse on her Scottsdale (Arizona) Daily Photo site during this coming week.  A link to her website is at the left margin of this site.  She will include information about the eclipse and about the technique of photographing the eclipse.

Julie's solar eclipse photos are much better than mine, so I will return to showing Costa Rica photos tomorrow.  Julie has a better camera, better lenses, a better tripod, and she has eclipsed me in her enthusiasm and efforts in taking photos.  

The opportunity to view a total solar eclipse was a thrill of a lifetime.  We were on a small cruise ship that was chartered by TravelQuest International and Wilderness Travel for people who wanted to see the eclipse.  We had the benefit of a series of lectures by leading astronomers, such as Alex Filippenko, Owen Gingerich and Richard Feinberg.  Photographing the eclipse from a moving ship added to the challenge, but it also proved to be very beneficial because the ship maneuvered to avoid the clouds.

Until the eclipse became total, it was necessary to view and photograph the eclipse through dark solar film.  Only when the eclipse became total, as it was during my photo shown above, was it safe to look at the sun with the naked eye and possible to photograph the sun without a dark filter covering the lens.  I made special solar filters by cutting and taping solar film, which looked like a piece of aluminum foil, on little round cardboard disks that I cut out, and then taping the filters with their cardboard borders to round cardboard tubes that I cut to  cover the lenses on our cameras.   

I encourage you to follow Julie's photos during the coming week.  You will see amazing sights, without the time and expense of traveling to a remote area west of French Polynesia and north of the Cook Islands.  

To see other City Daily Photo interpretations of the theme of "night," Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

16 comments:

Hilda said...

I don't care if this isn't 'real' night. This photo of the eclipse is absolutely fantastic, Dave! Like a hole on fire.

We didn't see it where we are in Manila because of the cloud cover. Bummer :(

Small City Scenes said...

Very exciting!!!!
Super shot. MB

simon kutcher said...

Easily the best photo of this theme day. Congrats

Leif Hagen said...

BRILLIANT photo - great for NIGHT theme day! Way cool!

brattcat said...

You will get absolutely no complaints from this corner about this day for night image. This is a stunning shot!

Jilly said...

How incredible. Clever you. A brilliant shot that really works for our 'night' theme. I'm looking forward to Julie's as I can't imagine anything better than this.

Rambling Round said...

Fantastic! I was privileged to see this occur back in the 1980s when the best place in the whole world to view it was about 10 miles east of Selma. There were all sorts of scientists from nearby universities with cameras and telecopes set up to get pictures, and one of theme let us shoot a similar photo through their equipment.

Sharon said...

This photo is fantastic. What an experience!!

Mo said...

Great shot

Jarart said...

Sounds like you had the trip of a life time. Very interesting and this shot is wonderful.

3c said...

This is the only photo I have seen of this eclipse and I find it very moving.

Ursel said...

Perfect shot for the Theme Day! Stunning image.

slinger said...

great idea, it looks like night to my eye. Well done.

Slinger - Twin Cities

Jacob said...

That is absolutely superb!

Felicia said...

What an awesome photo and sight!

Halcyon said...

I'm certainly ok with you using this as your "night" shot. Excellent photo! I've never seen an eclipse. I hope your wife got some good shots.

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