Sunday, June 18, 2017

Something old and something new

First off,
Happy Father’s Day to me from all my Rottweilers. The best family I could have ever asked for. In the order of their appearance in my life: 
Mocha Bear (Mo) 1995 photo taken years later
Felony Bear (Felly Girl) 1996
Nikko Bear (Nikki Bear) 1996
Sassy 2003
Ruffin (Ruff) 2006 photo taken years later
Axl 2009
Bessie (Bess) 2014

And now for something new. The old faithful Nikon D40 has been replaced. The used to be best Nikon D3200 has now been relegated to the everyday work camera. The new camera, a Sony full screen, mirrorless, gem was bought for the expressed purpose of going with me to Hopkinsville, Kentucky on August 21st to photograph the total eclipse. 

Long before I was fortunate to find myself living with Rottweilers, I had a passion for photography and astronomy. Way back in 1970 there was an earlier total eclipse that had a path of totality that passed through Virginia and I wanted desperately to see it. I packed up my wife, my three kids and drove 7-hours to Virginia City and set up my tripod and my Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic with its 200mm telephoto lens and took some pictures. The 200mm lens barely captured the majesty and aura of the event and I promised myself I would do better with the next opportunity. 

If you have never seen a total eclipse in person you have no idea what takes place. Many have seen partial eclipses but there is nothing to compare a total eclipse. Back in Virginia City, a few seconds before totality one corner of the sun glares out behind the shadow of the moon to form a Diamond Ring Effect. I was fortunate to capture that moment in spite of one other unexpected occurrence: The temperature suddenly dropped 30 degrees and my fingers felt numb on the camera. Here is one of my photos:

Notice how small the image looks with the 200mm lens. My next attempt will be with a larger telephoto lens that I plan to rent. (too expensive to buy) And these images were enlarged in my computer, as well.

Then the instant the moon passed exactly over the sun several things happened all at once. If you have seen a close up photo of the moon you probably noticed the rugged surface with mountains and valleys. Because those mountains and valleys extend around the edges of the moon at the instant of totality sunlight creeps though the tiny gaps and forms what is called Baily's Beads, a ring of fire around the moon. I almost got it but my image was too small to see it.

Here is a photo taken by someone else with better equipment that shows the Bailey's Beads:
In my opinion a total eclipse of the sun is a once in a lifetime event and even if your not into astronomy it is worth the effort to go an experience it. Hopefully, barring no unforeseen occurrences or bad weather, I will be there. Ruff and Bess will be taken care of at home and I'll be away for just overnight.

Now for something newer. While getting some practice with the new camera I grabbed some pics of Bess laying around the house and one of me working on my Facebook page.


No comments:

Post a Comment