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Suns and Sky_20x301.jpg

Suns and Sky_20x301.jpg

Nikon D800
1/800s f/8.0 at 85.0mm iso100 full exif

other sizes: small medium large original
Volker Bartheld 06-Dec-2013 15:52
Dude, THIS IS THE SPIRIT! Hats off to this kind of preparation and well done finale.
Tony 07-Nov-2013 08:42
Added note... the lens I used for this sequence can be seen in the microwave oven in "Sharp and in the Corners". It's the relatively uncommon Ai version of the 40-some-odd old 85mm f/1.8.

In side by side testing it outperformed my copy of the 105mm f/2.5 Ai in terms of resolution and bokeh, so I sold the 105. It's also pretty close to the performance of the Zeiss 100mm f/2.
Larry Angier 07-Nov-2013 00:50
Nicely done!
larry angier 07-Nov-2013 00:50
Nicely done!
Lensrentals06-Nov-2013 13:23
Category: Image with most steps of preparation:

There is zero forgiveness in an event like this, along with ample opportunities to mess up. Sometimes there is a hyped-up crowd at the scene and things get way too social and your attention lapses. Sometimes you just screw up all by yourself by knocking the tripod over. This time was going to be different. The preparations for this picture started in December of the prior year.

For locations I could easily reach, this eclipse was going to hit maximum with the sun low in the Western sky - it would be easy to include some Earthly scenery in the frame. NASA put up a web page where you could enter the coordinates of an observing site and they would print out a table of the elevation angle and compass headings at various times, along with appropriate notes calling out the times of contact and the central time. Using Google Maps I found a suitable observing spot in Zion Canyon National Park at the Eastern rim, just a bit North of the center line of the eclipse path. I dragged my family along a month before the event and verified the clear line of sight by surveying with a marine sighting compass and a digital inclinometer.

The uneven spacing of the solar disk images in this sequence echo the subjective feeling I get during an eclipse. Things start off sort of interesting at the beginning, building steadily to a frenzy at the event maximum when time seems to really speed up, followed by a rapid tapering down afterwards. I needed a huge set of pictures to select from for my Photoshop workup; most would end up ignored. Starting well before first contact I made an exposure through a safe solar filter every 15 seconds. I used only a tiny minority out of the hundreds of images collected. The center time was nailed to within one second using the home brewed timer I show in the gear picture. The images directly above and below the center were the ones from 1 min:45 sec before and after the central time; those were the closest ones that didn't overlap. Then working away from the center there is an added 15 second spacing between successive captures, giving the central concentration effect I was after. The blue sky was contributed by a frame that was shot without the solar filter a few minutes after sunset.

I wasn't going to get messed up with a slipped tripod that day. Spiked feet on the tripod were jammed into suitable pockets or edges on my sandstone perch, and the tripod was weighed down with 30 pounds of rocks and sand picked up at the scene (shameless effort to bump up my Accessories total by 2 counts).
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