Sunday, September 13, 2015

Partial Solar Eclipse and CNN

There was a partial solar eclipse over Southern Africa, Antarctica and part of the southern Atlantic and Indian Oceans today. Many people did not know about it, but luckily I did. It started this morning between 06:40 and 06:45, and I made myself home in the Coots Corner Bird Hide at Rietvlei Nature Reserve, since it is the perfect vantage point from which to watch the sunrise. I sat there for approximately one hour and forty minutes. I took a total of 33 photographs from the start of the eclipse to the end.

I started to tweet on my Twitter account about the eclipse and I then started getting a lot of notifications of retweets and favorites! At the time of taking the photos I wasn’t able to upload any photos to Twitter or Facebook, etc; so, I improvised and snapped a photo of the LCD screen while the camera was aiming at the sun, using my Sony XPeria Z3 Compact. I immediately tweeted the photo onto my Twitter account.

partialsolareclipsemycamera
Used my mobile to take a photo of the back of my camera in order to tweet it.

I received a lot of activity on this photo on my Twitter page. Out of the blue I received a request from Derek van Dam, meteorologist at CNN and CNN International, via his Twitter account, whether he could use this image on his next weather section on CNN. I gave the go-ahead, but I couldn’t see it, so I quickly called my wife to switch the TV on to watch it. She was in time to see it on CNN and that looked like this:

partialsolareclipsemycameracnn
My photo from above on CNN! Yay! I’m famous!

It was really cool to see the image of my photo on CNN, later on Twitter. Funny how things happen sometimes. And it can’t even be called a real photograph!

Anyway, I took some of the photographs of the eclipse and created an image with a series of the eclipse from beginning to end.

Partial Solar Eclipse
 

The settings of my camera changed from the beginning to the end as the sun became consistently brighter. See the photos below. Please note that I pulled the info below each photograph below from my Flickr account.

Partial Solar Eclipse
 01 - D20150913T064752_WGD_S_tn_settings

Partial Solar Eclipse
D20150913T065331_WGD_S_settings 

Partial Solar Eclipse
 D20150913T065547_WGD_S_settings

Partial Solar Eclipse
 D20150913T070108_WGD_S_settings

Partial Solar Eclipse
 D20150913T070751_WGD_S_settings

Partial Solar Eclipse
 D20150913T071410_WGD_S_settings

Partial Solar Eclipse
 D20150913T072035_WGD_S_settings

Partial Solar Eclipse
 D20150913T072838_WGD_S_settings

Partial Solar Eclipse
 D20150913T073825_WGD_S_settings

Partial Solar Eclipse
 D20150913T074428_WGD_S_settings

By the time of the photo above, the sun was sitting fairly high and it was very bright. I could no longer get a defined outline of the sun because of the brightness! I felt a little stuck at this point, and so my mind went into overdrive! I have the Sony SLT-A37 with the big lens on it, but I do not have an ND filter for it. However, my Canon D1200, which I use for close ups and landscapes using a small lens, has an ND400 filter, but it won’t fit my big lens. So, I had to improvise! For the next four photographs of the sun, of which three can be found below, I simply aimed at the sun while holding the smaller ND400 filter in front of the big lens, and it worked!

Partial Solar Eclipse
 D20150913T075331_WGD_S_settings

Partial Solar Eclipse
D20150913T075948_WGD_S_settings 

Partial Solar Eclipse
 D20150913T081825_WGD_S_settings

And so another day, another weekend comes to an end! Now we have to wait for the next eclipse, which will be a total lunar eclipse on 27/28 September 2015. For South Africans, you will have to be awake in the very early hours of the morning on Monday, 28 September 2015 at 02:11. The total eclipse will start at 04:11, maximum eclipse will be at 04:47 and the full eclipse will end at 05:23.

For more of my photos, visit my Flickr account.