Monday, May 21, 2012

What do supermoons and solar eclipses have in common?

You won't find a decent photograph of either on this blog. 

I thought I was prepared for the solar eclipse yesterday. I had scouted locations days in advance, 
planning my shots, rehearsing the route I'd take in the Ranger so I could cover them all during 
the four-and-a-half-minute window when the moon's shadow would hide the sun, leaving a ring of fire around the edge.

An hour before the big event, I gathered my camera bag with all my lenses, my assistant, 
and every pair of protective eyewear I could find.

I had instructed everyone, including me, to not look directly at the sun.
How I was going to take pictures of something I couldn't look at would be a challenge.

I put the camera on manual focus set at infinity, then I stopped the lens down to the smallest aperture 
and shot at the highest shutter speed. Then I aimed the camera at the general direction of the western horizon.

Whoo-hoo! Not only did I get the sun, I also captured pink UFOs landing in the pasture.

Nobody told me one of Saturn's rings would be visible. What an unexpected surprise.
Please don't burst my bubble and tell me that's really some sort of lens defect.

I eventually figured out how to make the UFOs and Saturn's ring disappear by putting my thumb 
over the viewfinder to block the weird reflections, but I still wasn't seeing any sign of the eclipse.

Don't let this one fool you. It was taken 15 minutes prior to the time the ring of fire was supposed to occur. 
I think I got lucky and a couple of dust spots on the lens aligned.

7:33 came and went and I've got nothing to show you for it. I do know that the birds stopped singing, 
there wasn't a whisper of a wind, and the light was freakin' amazing. I gave up trying to capture it with my camera 
and just looked around and took it all in. Sometimes memories are better than pictures anyway.


  1. It seems eclipses are tough to photograph. Yours wasn't the only blog bemoaning the lack of pictures :-)

  2. I used a "pin hole viewer. I didn't see the eclipse either and it didn't get suddenly dark as I was sitting in my hot tub. Yawn.

  3. Jim Baca got a nice shot from the foothills of Albuquerque

  4. I was wondering if we were going to see any pictures. But were you able to see the eclipse?

  5. The problem with being a person who doesn't read the newspaper, listen to the radio or watch tv is I only hear about these events after they've already happened - through the blogs I follow. As it turns out, we had a lot of cloud cover yesterday, so I wouldn't have seen it anyway.

  6. who needs eclipse photos when you show one of the gang wearing those groovy sunglasses eh! :D
    The birds stopped singing? That is unsettling.

  7. It was amazing that I could see the stages of the eclipse through my "tint", looking through the camera lens, but the camera didn't get it. My photos have the sun as a bright ball and the eclipse stage beside it. Interesting, but not what my eye was seeing.

  8. Sometimes as we are snapping away at photos, the memories pass us by. Loving the sunglasses!

  9. least you tried!
    We were ready to view it... we were dining at a nice restaurant with a great view to the west. At 6:45 a bank of clouds moved in :((

  10. These pictures are quite pretty, but kind of like a blind date. You went to all this trouble for something less than expected. Smooch looks so content in the last picture. I bet George would have loaned you his sunnys for the trip to town the other day.

  11. Cool pictures anyway! And, who wouldn't want an assistant as capable as yours? ;)

  12. I've never managed decent pics of the sun or the moon. I guess I don't know enough about my camera.
    As for your quote, " I gave up trying to capture it with my camera and just looked around and took it all in. Sometimes memories are better than pictures anyway." The very same advice was given to me by the captain of a ship. We were out looking for Killer Whales and I spent half the trip looking through the view finder of my camera. I missed seeing a lot of amazing stuff because I was looking through the tiny hole instead. I finally gave getting pictures and made mental memories instead!

  13. Carson...I was showing a friend your pictures. When I stare at the middle of the last one of the sun, the rays start moving. Is it just me? Please say you see it too!

  14. Here in Reno a big cloud came over and coved at teh peak time but we did get to see part of it...thanks Mother Nature. Love the sunglasses. Betsy

  15. We built a box, had the tint strips and the kids had a ball. You are so right the ambiant light was so amazing. "Beauty light" is what it is called cuz everyone looks good in it. I'm gonna order some more (tons)....tee hee.
    My photos were just like yours. I did get some blurry ones from the viewing box pin hole dealy but you are correct. The memories are the most spectacular.
    Oma Linda

  16. I tried, but the rain and clouds obscured the entire event.

  17. Hey, no sweat - I really love the shot with the "dust spots aligned..."! terrific!

    Nancy in Iowa

  18. Sandy from Edgewood, NM5/22/12, 10:05 AM

    Coffee almost out my nose with the first picture of the rather large sunglasses!

    Thanks for the laughs!!!!