Eclipse 2017

Much has happened – I’ll proceed in reverse chronological order.

Last weekend My Mermaids, me, my Brother, and my Dad all traveled to eastern Oregon, just south of Long Creek in the Malheur National Forest, to bear witness to a fantastic total solar eclipse.

I didn’t set aside much time to plan for *how* I would experience this, my third, total solar eclipse but I knew I had to do it. I continue to be happy that I was able to see it with so much family present.
The rest of the camping trip was extremely enjoyable too.

The younger mermaids got to take nature walks with my brother the botanist, saw some interesting wildlife, and had plenty of food and amenities typically not available to the unprepared – thanks to the elder mermaid.

We all had a good chat right up until the start of the eclipse.

The Mermaids enjoyed some early views of the partial shadow in their pinhole cameras / shadow boxes.
Mermaid in a box

An early attempt at taking quality pics with a peek-a-boo view through my solar glasses. Like I said, I didn’t prepare much but I made up for that to some extent with “photo hacking” and an amazing setting on my camera called Handheld Night Mode. This mode takes several images in rapid succession and, on camera, stacks them together for a crisp, decently exposed shot. It’s not perfect but it tends to work.
Partial eclipse

We were all dumbfounded by the sudden appearance and then rapidly retreating bands in the thin clouds that appeared. Thermal cause? I might submit this image to some experts for some advice.
Strange banding in the clouds at about 50%

Another through-the-glasses shot.
A decent shot at about 70% eclipse

And another – near totality – good crispness on the sun but a massive flare of the glasses. Looks good anyway.
an artifact of my technique (camera through solar glasses)

These artifacts – not through the glasses – were moments before totality and again using the handheld night scene. I like this shot because the green arc shows a reverse image (bounced around in the lense?) of the amount of sun visible in that super bright flare you see bottom right. Other bounced images in the lense is the green blur further up and the red hazy areas around the image.
Also notice the few red pixels top right – that edge of the sun coincides with flares I’ve seen in other images made with higher-quality equipment. Handheld! for the win.
More artifacts seconds before totality

And then totality – my second of two tries – very happy with the results.
Total Solar Eclipse 2017 - LZ

So far, the images I’ve got here have not eclipsed the sense of grandeur I can still recall in my minds-eye when viewing this eclipse with my own eyes. The memory is strong.

We drove down in the wee hours of Saturday morning in ~8 hours and home again on Monday in ~12 hours. Our theme song for the ride home was “Life is a Highway” singing and ‘dancing’ in our cars with a select few of our highway neighbors at an average of 4mph.

One thought on “Eclipse 2017”

  1. Just saw this, nice photos and commentary. Especially love the singing on the ride home wonderful joie de vivre.

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