Eclipse art preview

May 21, 2012 • 12:05 pm

Apparently the viewing conditions were great for yesterday’s eclipse at the Grand Canyon, and the artists and photographers among us were busy painting and snapping. I’ll present the final results soon, but here’s a preview. Ben Goren simply took pictures of the back of his camera with his cellphone; as he says, the real photos will need some “post-production work.” The first one shows Kelly Houle capturing the scene on paper (or canvas), the second the eclipse.

Stay tuned for the final products:

15 thoughts on “Eclipse art preview

  1. Hey Ed! Can you please put up a link so that the rest of us can look at the evidence you’re presenting? Sounds extraordinarily interesting.

    1. Oh, we got the annular eclipse, too, but you can see those anywhere. What you see above is a double eclipse of sorts — the moon in the upper left, and the far rim of the Grand Canyon on bottom. There’s only one other person who might have gotten a shot anything like the one above. Hers was a wider angle without any kind of a filter and probably would have had some texture in the Canyon walls; mine had a solar observation filter and you can see sunspots and the outline of lunar mountains and valleys.

      I also got a wide-angle view of the annular eclipse over the Canyon, but it’s several bracketed exposures that’re going to take a lot of post-procesing to combine into a single picture. I’m hoping to have a first draft of that by the end of this week.

      I’m back home and Dave is probably in thhe air by now. A splendid time was had by all. I can’t describe how incredible the eclipse itself was, and the rest of the trip was also fantastic.

      I’m going to hop in the shower and then spend the rest of the evening with Baihu, who was all by his lonesome the past few days. Mom and Dad never saw him, but his food bowl would magically empty itself twice a day and the cat toys constantly re- arranged themselves. He’s been all over me since I got back.

      I’ll probably be scarse the next few days as I dig myself out….



      1. I mentioned it because the site became briefly and inexplicably confused with another site devoted to New Testament analysis (allegedly a blog of the same name) and there were two postings with no obvious connection to astronomy.

      2. Ben allowed me (made me?) press the shutter button on the tight shot, but it’s all his setup work. He had two other cameras to deal with. I, of course, have seen all the preliminary work, and the detail he has available to work with is astonishing. I could see the irregularities of the surface on the backlit edge of the moon. Thanks, Ben, for letting me do that.

        Baihu hides a lot when strangers are around. I did see him once or twice when Ben dragged him out, and we did have a staring contest. Very handsome kitteh. Didn’t get a picture, though.

  2. Looking forward to these pictures as we didn’t get to see the eclipse on this side of the Pond.

  3. I can’t wait to see the finished products! I took some pictures of the eclipse through the $1 eclipse lenses they had at the Visitor’s Center, but I didn’t bring a telephoto lens so they are quite small and none too clear.

    1. Sorrywe missed you at Lipan Point, but I’m glad it worked out for you and the family at the main viewing site. We did have have a few public outreach astronomers with ‘scopes and binoculars and the like, which was a lot of fun, but I’m guessing they had a lot more at the Visitor’s Center.

      The park ranger we had said the parks service was a bit overwhelmed and hadn’t expected quite that big a turnout. I can appreciate why they closed off access to the lookout points, because it was getting hectic, mostly with gawkers. All the fine art photographers and astronomers and videographers were there before noon, and a lot of us all arrived at about 10:30 – 11:00.

      It would have been neat to have seen you again and to have met the clan, but I think you probably got a better family-friendly expierence at the Village.

      We’ll have to get together sometime to compare notes….


    1. I gotta say, it was awesome watching Kelly work. First, there was this featureless gray blob. The next time I looked over her shoulder, there were some random streakes in the gray. Again later and suddenly I could see the Canyon, and by the time she was done it looked almost exactly like what I saw before her. “Almost,” of course, because the light kept getting weirder and weirder, and the Canyon would change as you watched…but what she ended up with was amazingly representative of the experience as a whole, as opposed to the single point-in-time snapshot you get with a photogrqph.

      Kelly also painted at least a few examples of the view of the sun as seen through eclipse glasses, and those came out far more realistic than any of the equivalent iPhone snapshots people were taking. What she painted matched what I saw with my own eyes through my own eclipse glasses, whereas the snapshots, though nifty, weren’t even remotely similar.

      I understand Kelly has some further plans that include what she painted yesterday, but far be it from me to steal her thunder.



  4. Anxiously awaiting final products too.

    Also, totally off topic, but so . . . interesting that I just have to share. A story just popped up on Yahoo news with the following headline.

    Speech by members of Congress drops a grade level due to conservatives and new members, according to study

    Some interesting quotes from the piece.

    The foundation applied the Flesch-Kincaid grade level test to congressional conversations and found that today’s Congress speaks “at about a 10.6 grade level, down from 11.5 in 2005,” senior fellow Lee Drutman wrote in his analysis. Sunlight also found that the newest as well as the most conservative members of Congress on average speak at the lowest grade level.

    Republican Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina scored lowest with a 7.9 grade level average for his speech. But he told Yahoo News Monday that although he doesn’t believe anyone equates “sentence length” and the “polysyllabic nature of words” with intelligence, his ranking is something to be proud of.

    “I see it as an affirmation that we’re doing something right,” Mulvaney said of his fellow bottom-tier representatives. “You’ve got to speak clearly and concisely,” Mulvaney said, if you want people to know what you believe.

    It should be noted that the Congressional Record can be amended by members, meaning they can insert speeches they never actually issued and modify those they did issue. Drutman said he has no data to base a guess on how that may shape the grade level results overall.

  5. I admit that I was totally bummed at missing this because I live in North Carolina…the thought of viewing the eclipse never crossed my mind.

    And then there I was in San Francisco on a business trip. And suddenly I realized — I could see the eclipse.

    Union Square in SF with about 100 other eclipse nuts. I made a little pinhole viewing thingy out of one of those street maps the concierges hand out. (Totally impressed the client I was with.)

    Someone was passing around a smoked glass rectangle and I got a GREAT view.

    To say I was stoked over this unexpected piece of luck is an understatement. A true “bucket list” experience.

  6. If anyone is interested, I’ve uploaded a few of my pictures to Flickr and the set can be viewed HERE.

    Forgive the excessive Raven pictures (my favorite bird, and they’re everywhere up there!). These aren’t going to compare in anyway to what Ben and Kelly have in store for us I’m sure, but it’s something to look at and get a feel for what was going on up there.

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