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Eclipse (Solar)

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1031449.  Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:05 pm Reply with quote

I was walking out my front door in Concord, Michigan, USA on a date that will be apparent in a moment. I looked down at the grass and sidewalk and saw something truly amazing. I saw it because I was ignorant of "current events". Everybody else in my world was looking in the other direction. Because I was not TOTALLY ignorant, I knew what it meant and ran back into the house and grabbed a point and shoot camera and I got this picture that you are welcome to use if you like.

Can you tell what is going on and when, in Concord, Michigan, USA.

I THINK (Senior moment) that there was a story in Isaac Asimov's Detectives , edited by Gardner Dozois, that involved a writer asking for guidance from a Scientific club on how to plot a mystery. Premise was that the hero takes "The best possible picture" of a solar eclipse and the Producer of the previous first best kills our hero in a fit of jealousy. In the course of the the story.the club chats at length about what the best possible picture might be and many of them, because it was a science fiction setting, suggested that it should be a picture of a solar eclipse, looking down. You will see by googling that there are a jillion high-tech best pictures of this sort, but I can't find any low tech solutions to the problem like mine.

All my best,
Doug Keeslar

1031524.  Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:54 pm Reply with quote

Welcome Doug - to be honest I haven't a clue what that picture is meant to show! Could you explain it to this thicko please?

1031526.  Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:59 pm Reply with quote


1031529.  Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:47 pm Reply with quote

The camera obscura, (or obscure chamber) was a camera which pre-dated photographic film or chemically sensitive plates by centuries, even milennia. A lengthy discussion of this pinhole camera can be found here as well as (gloriosky) another picture such as mine.

My picture shows the serendipitous event which could have inspired some ancient engineer to manufacture the first camera obscura.

In the sky through the million pinholes in the foliage of my maple tree was a solar eclipse that, at that point, had only a sliver of the sun yet un-occluded on the right hand side. This produced the jillion little crescents that you see in my photograph.

Years ago I watched a BBC show in which a presenter proved that the camera obscura was used to produce Flemish masterpiece portraits of people. He demonstrated it with a portrait of a man in a extremely detailed ruff. The detail was completely, photographically perfect for the entire image except for a section of the back of his head where he had bumped the table holding the camera obscura. The section of image at the back of the subject’s head was photographically perfect too, once you moved the camera to exactly the same orientation that the artist had bumped it to. He proved this by overlaying a photograph of the “study’ of his subject with a photograph of the completed oil painting of his subject. The perfection of front and back of the images would have been impossible to create without the camera obscura, whose invention was inspired by a happenstance like the event of my photograph.

1031945.  Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:25 am Reply with quote

On August 11 1999 we had a total solar eclipse here in the UK. Unfortunately the area of totality was a long way south and only covered Cornwall and the Channel Islands.

Since I live in Edinburgh, I only got to see a partial eclipse. Since the Sun was only partly covered, it was too bright to look at but, like you, I also got to see the crescent images projected after the light had passed through the leaves of a tree as I was walking around work at lunchtime.

Sadly I didn't have a camera with me at the time.

1031977.  Mon Oct 28, 2013 7:44 am Reply with quote

In 1999, I took a ferry to Dieppe with bicycle aboard and cycled a short distance across northern France to the path of totality. Amazing experience!


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