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Annular Solar Eclipse

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May 20th,  2012

Cedar City, Utah

   Events     Weather     Writer's Cafe     City Profiles     Life in the Desert      Local Happenings

   Events     Weather     Writer's Cafe     City Profiles     Life in the Desert      Local Happenings

Photos & Graphics by Don & Linda Gilmore

   We've all probably heard about this and some of you may have been lucky enough to see the eclipse in the desert. If you were really lucky, you were in or near Kanarraville, Utah for this eclipse. NASA chose this site as the "sweet spot" for viewing or photographing the eclipse. Anywhere within a 20 mile radius of Kanarraville would give you a perfectly centered "Ring of Fire" whiich was the climax for the eclipse.  
   Thousands of people made an appearance in Kanarraville, Utah for this event. People all over the Iron County area watched for the "Ring of Fire" and took photos with cameras and telescopes of this event, which will not happen again for 18 years.

Content including photographs are Copyright © 2012 - Present - Don & Linda Gilmore

   Linda shot a time-lapse of the surrounding area to show the changes in luminosity, (the effect the eclipse had on light in the area). I don't think this has ever been done before, but she wanted to take this approach. Camera mounted on a tripod, 41 photos and 2 hours later you can see what the desert looked like during an eclipse. Notice half way through how dark it got and also you'll see jet trails in the sky. Now try to imagine how the early explorers and Native Americans would have felt when it looked like the sun was dying in the late afternoon like this. It probably scared them. They couldn't look the event up on Google! Nice job, honey!.

Desert Mound, Utah

Very different, short video, titled Luminance - by Linda Gilmore

   Exactly where in the desert were we? Here's a small map showing the spot where we took all the photos (over 400 in total) to get the surrounding area and the complete eclipse.
Eclipse Map
   Nice area looking West over a large barren section in the desert toward the mountains. We were perched on a tailings pile that was part of the old Iron Ore Mine near 2,000 Flushes.

Solar progression

Eclipse Progression Photos
   From start to finish right through the "Ring of Fire". The peak in the lower right hand corner of the photo is Antelope Peak. The sun set behind this peak.

Solar Ecilpse Time Lapse

   This time lapse is very short but shows 223 photos of the complete Annular Solar Eclipse and the sunset at Antelope Peak. Over 2 hours of photographs compressed into a short time lapse. Even if you saw the eclipse this might interest you.

Photography, How it was done

   Taking the photos was the easy part, to some  extent it was boring. The computer work afterwards was very tedious and time consuming. You'd need a good grasp on graphics work to accomplish this. All the sun photos had to be centered in the backgrounds before the videos could be produced. The photo above showing the complete eclipse took over 40 layers that had to be stacked and put in order and then put in the exact arch that the sun followed that day. If for any reason you want to photography the sun, or partial eclipse, here's a few helpful tips. Below is a photo showing the filter we used for photographing the sun.
Photographing the Eclipse
   The filter we ended up using was a KT Industries #10 gold plated welding filter. We made a mount out of a spray can cap that just fit over the end of the lens. This worked really well and didn't change the sun's coloration. All the exposure's for the time lapse were as follows:   f 22  1/320 of a second, ISO 100. We used a remote release on the cameras. We also timed our shots. The eclipse time lapse was shot at every 15 seconds and the Luminance time lapse was shot at every 5 minutes. Both cameras were set to manual for exposure and focus.
   In the beginning the sun was so bright we had to put dark towels over our heads and the camera bodies just to be able to see the LCD screens. It was a challenge but it was also nice to be able to accomplish this. It's not often you have to, or even want to shoot into the sun.

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Welding Filter