2012 Annular Eclipse


May 20 - Shoreline Park, Mountain View, CA

While not in the direct path of the eclipse, we in the S.F. Bay Area got a good show of the annular eclipse. I found it a challenge to photograph, however. It seems my camera (being an "all in one" digicam) couldn't tighten the aperture enough to keep the photos from over-exposing. I had brought my welding helmet which did a great job of cutting down the light, but it was large and bulky, and the autofocus (which I couldn't figure out how to turn off) would focus on the HELMET, not what it saw through it. A number of people were there to watch the stellar show, and one woman lent me a paper sunglass with a solar-viewing lens. It was fragile, and many had bent (and later torn in half) the thing, but placing it in front of my lens helped.

The problem with that was, it didn't cover the entire camera lens, and being quite windy I had a very difficult time keeping everything from moving. Consequently, most of the shots have some blurring. Some have so much it's almost artistic. I've included some of the really blurred ones- They rather remind me of fire licking up from a campfire. Not, it would seem, out of character for the flames coming off the star that our planet circumnavigates.

This same eclipse will occur again in 2033, and I intend to be better prepared for it. I'll have a better tripod, which will allow adjustment to follow the sun. It was a bit of a hassle with my current tripod- As the planet insisted on continuing to rotate while I was taking photographs, the sun kept moving out of the frame. I'll also have a number of neutral-density filters to cut down on the light's intensity, so I won't have to hold up a paper-framed sliver of plastic sheeting.


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