Friday, 27 April 2012

Eclipse Photography Thoughts 2

For the Annular Solar Eclipse on the 20th of May (USA) we are considering a location in a public park with other eclipse chasers who live in the area. While I'd enjoy taking a series of images through the Coronado telescope of the entire event (1st through 4th contact) it seems wrong to not allow others a peek through the telescope. And being in a public park could present difficulties as we are most likely to draw curious onlookers.
I will be the guy in the silly safari hat.

My plan is to use the telescope as a public education tool and share the view. If there is an opportunity I will take some images but I think I will get far more fun and interesting images with a regular camera. One of the best features of an annular solar eclipse are the shadows and pinhole images of a round light source (the Sun) appearing everywhere. It is an "Alice in Wonderland" sort of view when the right objects are casting shadows. My favorite is look on sidewalks where tree shadows fall. Sometimes it looks like a pile of translucent crescents or rings piled atop each other.

Image by Andy Hinds during the 2005 Annular Solar Eclipse

The key to finding good shadow projections is a porous shadow against a light background as seen in the image above by fellow eclipse chaser Andy Hinds.

Since we will be somewhere in northern California (weather will dictate where we set up) the annular phase of the eclipse (between 2nd and 3rd contacts) will last well over four minutes. This will hopefully provide plenty of time to find some interesting views to share.

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