Wednesday, January 5, 2011

365 solar eclipse

solar eclipse

Tuesday january 4 there was a solar eclipse. It was total in parts of North Africa and Russia, only partly in West Europe.

It would start as from sunrise (around 9.15am), be at its maximum around 10 and be over at 10.45.
I woke up and.. the sky was totally cloudy :-( Aaaaargh.
Not individual clouds, but a complete layer of clouds leaving no space in between. And I couldn't feel a lot of wind, so they were not going to go anywhere.

Went out a few times in the garden but could not see the sun at all.. sometimes there was a bit of a highlight showing behind some clouds but you couldn't see the outline of the sun itself.

I was in the house, playing games with Maya, when suddenly I saw sunlight at the border of the kitchen window. Sunlight - so the sun is shining through the clouds !
It was almost 10.30 so at the very end of the eclipse.

Ran outside with my camera, yelled at Maya to come too - who was for once a good girl and ran into the hallway to put on her jacket - while normally she never puts on a jacket to go in the garden..
Quickly shot some pictures, and when Maya arrived I lifted her onto my shoulders and gave the goggles to her so she could see the eclipse too. She was just in time and watched the a few minutes. Then clouds became too thick again and the sun disappeared.

Technical info - photo taken with my 70-300mm lens at 300mm.
As I wasn't sure about how bright the sun should be as it can damage a camera (and one shouldn't look directly into the sun either), I had put two ultra-violet filters on my lens (took one from my other lens which has the same size). In this photo I also held welding goggles by hand before the lens. I don't have an ND filter (neutral density filter) which is something you would use for this type of photo - but the welding goggles served the same purpose.

Also took some pictures without the welding goggles but they're not as good - I did manually adjust exposure for the bright sunlight, but the clouds are also overexposed so you don't see the edges of the sun as well as on this picture.
Maybe a polarising filter would have helped too (which I don't have in the size for this lens).

So I'm not unhappy - despite the clouds I was able to shoot a few pictures of the solar eclipse.. not as impressive as others have (at its peak 77% was covered here in Belgium), but luckily enough the sun did come out for a few minutes from behind the clouds so we could see something..

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