Eclipse teaser

May 23, 2012 • 1:08 pm

I’m in communication with the group of WEIT readers who convened at the Grand Canyon on Sunday to view, paint, and photograph the annular eclipse. And I’m told that there are some really nice pictures and artwork to come.  As a teaser, here are are two of our friends at work, Ben Goren with his camera on the left, and Kelly Houle with her painting setup at right. Notice that these are serious artists!  I’ll put up the final products, I hope, in a few days.

h/t: daveau for the photo, posted with permission of the principals

46 thoughts on “Eclipse teaser

    1. Lipan Point was jammed all afternoon. All the tourists disappeared right after totality, as though the show was over. It’s a great spot to view the Canyon even when there isn’t an annular eclipse. Good thing.

      1. Any nuts preaching religion or 2012 end of the world tripe? It seems like an eclipse at a public venue where a large crowd is expected would be irresistable to them.

        1. We must have lucked out. We had mostly people of an artistic or scientific bend. I would expect the apocalyptic types to be east of us at the Watchtower, or in the main village. Justin was at both, so maybe he can weigh in.

  1. Watched it from a great spot in Albuquerque. Really incredible.

    It was amazing to me how bright the sun was, even with most of it eclipsed by the moon.

  2. I will point out two items:

    The telescopey looking camera to the right is Ben’s, and is the one trained on the sun the whole time. Just to the left, in front of the pine, is where his primary camera is, locked down to a particular framing. The one he is carrying was for targets of opportunity.

    And if you will direct your attention to Kelly’s immediate right, you will notice a glass of wine. Ben & I had been stuck there since 10:15, eating gorp, buffalo jerky and drinking water from our packs. Kelly and Ken came in around 3:00, and after setting up their equipment, produced whole grain crackers, baby-bel cheese, and a bottle of red wine (Malbec, probably), complete with stemware. Those two know how to live.

    1. Very first thing I noticed was the vin. Next time my wife and I hike the north shore of Superior I’ll suggest we pack maybe a nice Pinot Grigio and a complement of fruits and cheeses. Suddenly our usual gorp seems so…bourgeois.

      1. Piker. For my next Alpine* adventure, I plan to have my manservant, Chives, trundle in a half-barrel of Chateau Daveau ’86 with jewel encrusted crystal goblets. For canapés I shall have hummingbird’s tongue paté on communion wafers, and the finest ripened cat’s milk brie. And a chamber orchestra.

        *Afton Alps. And probably Velveeta on a Ritz, with a pint of lime vodka and some Slim Jims…

        1. I still want to find someplace that’ll deliver cheeses fried with lamb and cod, served with bread of rice and a sangria. The Christers rave about it, but, as one would expect, all they do is pretend that that’s what they eat when they instead serve stale crackers and Welch’s grape juice….


    2. I would like to point out that the glass is full! I didn’t even acknowledge the wine until we were packing up. I had to keep my wits about me!

          1. Oh, yeah. It was gourmet buffalo jerky, handcrafted by local native americans, and totally worth every penny.


            To be even more fair to Kelly, I don’t think she had time for the cheese or crackers either, until after sunset. It was classy, though.

    1. More to the point, nice cameras and lenses !

      Canon L series on the one Ben is carrying if I’m not mistaken.

        1. Don’t know about “several.”

          That’s a 70-200 f/2.8 (non-IS) attached to a 5D (classic) in the shot that I was using for some “if it just happens to work” shots of the eclipse low on the horizon. I’m pretty sure I would have had the planned-for shot by that time, as I think it was after that that I switched from the 24-105 as the walkabout.

          The planned-for shot was with a TS-E 24 II on a 5DIII that’s in the exact center of the frame, behind the tree. The Big White to Kelly’s right is a 400 f/2.8 IS II (with a 2X teleconverter) with a 5DII hanging off of it. There’s a Baader solar viewing telescope filter over the 400. Its main purpose was to have a telescope handy for us to ooh and aah over the eclipse, but also to get the archetypal just-the-eclipse photos everybody loves. My favorite of those was the one in the earlier thread, with the eclipse on the horizon with the sunspots still visible.

          Most of my productive time yesterday got taken up with profiling the display…I keep forgetting how long that takes, which is probably a big part of the reason why I don’t do it often enough.

          Anyway, if I don’t get to the editing this evening or tomorrow after work, it’ll be all I’ll plan on doing on Saturday.


          1. Drooling enviously. Fortunately I can just remind myself that I wouldn’t even know what to do with them.

            1. They’re a lot of fun. They’re also relatively recent acquisitions, so I’m still figuring out what to do with them, myself. Well, the 24 is an upgrade, but the 400 is unlike anything I’ve ever had before….


        2. Do note however that the camera and photographer that isn’t teasing but actually providing the goods is daveau with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ. I guess it all depends on whether you want to be teased or see a nice picture.

          1. Hey! These things take time!

            I am impressed with the auto white balance of that Lumix, even if it’s oversaturated and the shadows are blocked.


              1. Did I tell you Debra (aka the spousal unit) severely chided me about never using any of the custom setup options the Lumix has? I could have gotten much better eclipse shots, she says. Not as good as Ben will send me, I says…

              2. I doubt it’s your fault. The smaller cameras don’t have a lot of dynamic range to begin with, and the manufacturers know that people want “punchy” photos, which means a lot of contrast and saturation…thus leading to defaults baked into the images that aren’t kind to the subtleties of the image. Of course, preserving those subtleties out of the camera results in flat images, and it takes time and knowledge to then manually add the “punch” in a way that doesn’t clobber the details….


              3. Debra is much better than I am, so I probably should have asked her advice. She has a good eye for tweaking; she has studied photography, and plays in photoshop for a living. She uses the good camera.

          2. Thank you. My point exactly. I have a nicer camera than the Lumix, but still inadequate compared to Ben’s stuff, so why haul it from Chicago? Point and shoot, with minimal post-tweakage, and I have it all up on FB and copies to Jerry for everyone’s enjoyment. Of course, it’s not art

            1. I love my LUMIX LX5: 4:1 LEICA zoom down to f/2.0, 35mm equiv: 24mm-90mm, a lovely range, and very sharp, very nice IQ, very close focus.

              Shoots RAW, 10MPx, very nice sensor. Same functionality of a basic DSLR with the exception of TTL view and interchangeable lenses. I shoot in Aperture priority and tweak the exposure comp as needed. Works great. Pretty fast functioning.

              A wonderful choice to have when I don’t want to go in heavy.

              1. Looks like it should be a pretty decent camera. It’s an awfully small sensor for what I’m used to, but still much bigger than the typical P&S. The lack of a real viewfinder would annoy me, and the associated ergonomics / performance compromises would rule out its use for lots of stuff. On the other hand, everything you do get plus it fits in your pocket? Not bad!

                I’m not much into the snapshot side of things, though I’ve found my iPhone handier than I would have expected. But if I were, I’m sure I’d be looking to that Lumix or something similar as a “have with you all the time” camera.


  3. Notice that these are serious artists!

    Excellent! They must have other ways of knowing(tm) that I keep hearing abut 🙂

    I wish I could have been there and see some artists at work on something so cool to see, and I am really looking forward to seeing the results of the day’s outing.

  4. Nice.

    Unfortunately whenever I see anyone sitting down to paint it always makes me think “What a lovely colour, very dark, almost black. Black. BLACK! LIKE THE GATES OF HELL…” etc etc.


  5. Photo including the elliptical shadow of Kelly’s parasol done gone missing? Or maybe just not as good as my imagination sees it.

    1. If you mean the funky crescent shapes that the shadows turn into during an eclipse, no, you can’t see any in that shot — the angle is worng. I did get several of those…but they were an incidental “Ooh! Neat! Look at that!” rushed sort of thing on my way from camera to telescope to camera and back and forth. No clue what any of those shots will come out like.


      1. That sounds like fun! My simple mind though was just thinking along the line of a wider angle to Daveau’s shot that would include the parasol’s shadow and maybe the eclipse. Looks good in my imagination but maybe not so much in reality.

    2. I’ve got one right here, along with some other semi-interesting shots from the trip. I’m sure Ben’s will be better, but it will be weeks before you see it, if at all. 😉

      1. No pictures of Condors?!?! When I was at the Grand Canyon I got pictures of condors. 😉

        Thanks! Those are interesting, you even went to Walnut Creek. “Ben working” with the color chart, very professional, he is.

        1. We spotted a couple condors, a few hundred feet below us. Gorgeous birds! But the solar filter was on the 400, and they never came back….


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