Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Solstice Eclipse 2010-12-21

Solstice Eclipse December 21, 2010 as seen from Yellowknife, NT
(disclaimer:these photo's aren't great and are my first attempt at night photo's)

 So having the following day off and recently recovering from a stomach flu which allowed me much sleep yesterday, I figured I'd better stay up and get a picture of this eclipse. The "special" circumstance for this eclipse is that it is a full eclipse (of the moon) during the winter solstice (IE the days are getting longer in Yellowknife after today!!!!!). Since moving to Yellowknife I would like to get some Aurora photos and I guess I just haven't been that motivated. Seeing as the next few years should be the best years to see them this experience taught me a few things.

First: Don't set the camera up an hour before the beginning of the eclipse when it is -20. By the time the eclipse started getting good my settings had to be adjusted due to how fast the shutter could close. Also the dimming of the moon did not help this at all. Auto focus became pretty much non existent also.

Second: This is a common sense thing...but don't bring the camera into the +20 degree house and have the lens fog up as the eclipse is at it's peak ! Hence the following shots are shot with 2 different cameras.

Third: Buy a faster, stronger lens.

So the first and last photo are from the Canon Xsi with a 55-250 cheapy lens. I can't complain it was a gift and I have wasted my money elsewhere when I should have bought a better lens. The others were on the backup camera (thank god due to lens fogging up) Canon SX10IS. Both were on a tripod.

The last photo was of the full eclipse as I chose to film it. I was cold and the camera had gone from a full battery to less than half in about 25 shots. Learned a lot about tripods, shooting in the cold and to be thankful it wasn't -45 or I doubt these pictures would have happened.

There is lots of information on this if you google JPL Eclipse and also on Flickr which I am sure has a lot of cool shots from people in warmer climates with much fancier equipment...and skill.

Merry Christmas, Happy First Day of Winter and all I can say is bring on the sun !! (Sorry to all my more northerly friends who are in darkness till mid January :)


Sue Glowach said...

These are great shots! Thanks for staying up and getting them. I hope you don't mind, but I've posted the link to this page to the CBC North Facebook page so others can see these shots!


Flyin Dutchman said...

Thanks Sue, Merry Christmas !