Friday, September 1, 2017

The Great American Eclipse of 2017 - the Eclipse

Excitement was mounting...our party took two positions on top of the nearby outcrops; both with great 360˚ vistas.
plates holding the glasses makes it better for kids

the sun was coming through clearly - three sunspots easily visible

so cool

sunsunglass selfies

hope the clouds don't get thicker


still looking not too bad...

the wall of darkness comes

And here it is in slideshow form:

360 degree sunset colors:
And almost just like that it was over.

Camp life continued for three families. The rest reported 10-12 hour drives back home.

kids love those inflatable couches

The next day we packed up camp and rounded up the last traces of our occupation. We can honestly say that we left the place cleaner than when we found it thanks. You might think that's impossible, weren't we in a pristine area untouched by people. Oh no. Some yahoo(s) had left cans and bullet cartridge cases and broken glass up on one of the ridges. So when we policed the area and picked up every teeny tiny piece of foreign debris, we were making sure that our camp was indeed cleaner than when we got there.
and then we left
out traffic the day after the eclipse - can you say "Zip?"
Photo notes and lessons learned. The eclipse photos (and most others) were taken on a Panasonic/Lumix GH5 camera. The eclipse lens was a modest telephoto, 35-100 f/2.8 which is a great lens though a little short for this purpose. I originally thought I'd use a technique dubbed "Drift mode' which is simply this: to avoid futzing with a camera, you set it to take a high resolution video of the event which you can use to pull still photos from later. This takes advantage of the camera's ability to shoot 4k video. But then I heard that the GH5 can actually shoot 6k video (!) so I did that instead.
What I later figured out was that since I was never going to use the video as video, I should have simply done everything as long sequential photo shoot, taking a frame once a second (10 minutes at 60 photos per minute would have been 600 frames). Examining sun photos later also showed that the RAW files were much better than the JPEGs so I should have shot the sequence in just RAW + low rez jpeg. As far as audio, the winds picked up and the 6k audio is dominated by that. I could have simply recorded audio with another device like my phone. Live and learn.

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