Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Totality

Although I've never been particularly interested in astronomy or space and had previously said I didn’t plan on photographing the eclipse, circumstances intervened.

Our son and daughter-in-law live the zone of totality and asked us to come for a visit – of course we were happy to take them up on the invitation. A photographer whose studio isn’t far from their house kindly donated a solar filter that fit my lens. I took over 600 photos but only saved about 25; it took me quite a while to adjust the camera's settings since the recommendations I'd found on-line the night before were, unfortunately, of little help.

The solar filter was only necessary before and after totality and the Sun in those images is orange-colored. During totality the filter was removed and, in the images made then, the colors are what could be seen with the naked eye, without solar glasses.

Below is a short time-lapse video of the total eclipse which took almost exactly two hours start to finish, therefore the video significantly condenses the entire process.


Baily's Beads form as the edge of the Sun shows through gaps formed by valleys and craters on the moon. 

The Sun's corona is the outermost part of the Sun's atmosphere, it normally can't be seen except during a total eclipse. 

Those pink -colored spots on the Sun's rim during totality are called solar prominences, eruptions of plasma from the surface of the Sun.

 

The Diamond Ring Effect forms just as the moon completely hides the Sun or, as in the video, just barely exposes the Sun once again. 

During the eclipse our surroundings didn’t become totally dark and there was a 360 degree sunset as the light dimmed –


Earlier, as the eclipse progressed, the light developed an odd gray tone very unlike ordinary twilight. Then after totality that gray light returned until the sky brightened to a normal late afternoon.

During the eclipse the air became noticeably cooler and then warmed again after the eclipse was over. Because of the open pastures around us, we could watch the moon's shadow approach and then recede.

There were some high thin clouds during the beginning of the eclipse, those clouds increased markedly over the two hours and made later photos less clear. In spite of that, sunspots can be seen as small dark spots on the surface of the Sun in some of the 600+ photos I took  –


We had the benefit of astronomers' predictions and solar glasses and camera filters so we could anticipate, understand and view the Sun during the eclipse.
It's easy to understand how, lacking that knowledge, our ancestors in the dim distant past could have been superstitious and perhaps terrified as the light dimmed and the Sun appeared to vanish.

The eclipse was fascinating and wonderful, I'm glad we had a chance to experience it and happy I got a few images that I can share.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Day by Day Throughout the Year - 1st quarter

It’s now been about 70 years since I used my father’s Kodak camera, which took size 616 roll film, to take a few photographs. The negatives were about the size of postcards as were the black and white prints of the landscapes through which we hiked.

When I was in college I bought a rangefinder-style camera that took 35mm film, I still have some of those slides – photos of family and scenery.

In the early 1970s it was a single lens reflex camera and several lenses that went with me day by day, it produced 35mm slides of our kids as they grew up and the wildflowers and wildlife that had always interested me. I’m still photographing those things, but added our grandchildren to the list of subjects.

For the last 50 years I've seldom been in forest and field without a camera a camera that has made me more aware of the wonders of the world in which we dwell.

Five times over the last decade I’ve made it a project to post an interesting photograph day by day throughout the year. Some days it's been of something large enough that it couldn't be missed, other days it's something small that's frequently overlooked.

These are photographs taken day by day throughout the the first quarter of 2024, photographs of the natural world where I’ve spent a lot of my life both at work and at play. These images are from wherever I might have been and of whatever may have caught my attention

























































































Those are the day by day photos from the first three months of 2024. Photos of the second three calendar months will follow as spring flowers bloom, insects become more active and spring fades into summer.

Projects like this are well worth doing because they encourage me to take a closer look at the world around us. Consider doing something similar with anything that interests you. You don't need an expensive camera, a cell phone or an inexpensive used camera could yield interesting and inspiring images.