Saturday, August 19, 2017

Saturday encore ~ What do supermoons and solar eclipses have in common?

This encore post is from May 21, 2012, the day after a solar eclipse
in which the 7MSN was allegedly in the path of totality.

It was a total bust, photography-wise, but a valuable lesson learned.
Come Monday, I will have my camera ready, but only to photograph the light on my animals.


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. Okay - that settles it.

    I've been mulling over a whirlwind trip to coastal SC Monday to experience totality. (the big event will be 90% where I am in NC) It would likely be an 18 hour round trip - best case scenario with traffic which could potentially be gridlocked. Factoring in that I likely have zero chance of capturing a good photo of the ring of fire, and the weather report isn't certain... Thanks for the help :D

  2. The light on the animals is much preferred to the ring of fire. We should have 94.7% of totality here.

    Hopkinsville (Eclipseville on temporary signage) is about 200 miles away. Small town in western Kentucky. They are having their own little Woodstock event there. By Friday they had people from 19 countries and 46 states already. People are expected to just pull off the side of the road for the event. Roads will likely be gridlocked, a good reason to keep schools closed and children home. Along with the excitement comes some nervousness about taxing the systems and crossing everything that everything goes well.

    Around here many schools will close as families trek off to the center area. I plan to make a cereal box pinhole viewer or two. My cousin says she has an extra pair of the viewing glasses. There have been so many counterfeit ones showing up that I wonder if they are legit ones.

    I'll figure out a good spot in the yard today or tomorrow. So far they are saying partly cloudy for Monday.

  3. I'll need George's glasses...didn't get any in time
    I am going to try and keep my ass inside cause the rebel in me is going to want to look. Just like when I didn't believe my gramma when she told me I would bleed from her hair cutting razor....

  4. "I do know that the birds stopped singing, 
    there wasn't a whisper of a wind, and the light was freakin' amazing. "

    So,today in Northwest Montana at what was said to be 87% ... there was noticeable dimming but what I really noticed at the time advertised was the stillness and quiet...not a chirp, or rustle or breath of wind.

  5. We were in the path of totality this time. Pretty cool, had the glasses and got to see the awesome ring with firelights (or whatever they call them) jumping off the sun. No complete darkness, just like dusk and then back to complete brightness. And oh my, the traffic! I just stepped outside the clinic and sat down in my lawn chair and enjoyed everything. I still can't believe that some people spent hundreds and even thousands to view something that was just about a minute long...too much money.