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Wednesday, 22 February 2012


I think I noted this when I was looking at 2017, but I skipped it as not conveniently located and not total. Which is too bad, because a practice run for 2017 isn't a bad idea at all.

Also, a transit of Venus across the disk of the sun will occur on June 5. The next will not occur until 2117.

If you can keep a secret, if you travel to Albuquerque, taking the Tram to the Crest should provide an excellent view, assuming there are no clouds. Of course, if a million other photographers figure this out...

Hooray! Eureka is my home, but I know my coastal redwoods country well and know several nice places 20 to 50 miles north of here. The only possible bummer will be fog, which could - as it has in the past - just wipe it out. Prayer doesn't seem to help much!

In 1999 I witnessed a 99% at a US/Dutch airbase in Holland, what I remember most is not the eclipse itself but (as a biologist) the response of nature around me.....it was august and every bird fell silent, the temperature instantly dropped several degrees and even we (the Dutch ICT technitians and even our American colleges) lowered our voices...sort of a natural respons I guess.

Greetings, and have fun all you west-coasters and alike,


Slightly off-topic, but HOLY COW! I just checked NASA's map for the 2017 total eclipse, and not only will the central line of the eclipse path pass within six miles of my house, I'm also less than a hundred and fifty miles from the point of greatest eclipse.

Anybody have any recommended reading (other than Ctein above, of course) for those interested in maximizing such a great opportunity? I've only got five and a half years to figure it all out...

Bah, this would happen while I'm planning to be halfway across the world.

Dear DDB,

Yes, it would be over a 1000 mile drive each way for you. A bit much.

But, if it would be any consolation, it would make a lousy practice run for the 2017 total eclipse. The photographic conditions and constraints are so very much different that it makes experience with one irrelevant for the other. Light is not in short supply during an annular eclipse, it is during a total one. A total eclipse involves some very subtle tone and color variations. An annular eclipse does not. A total eclipse can involve trying to photograph a very long subject luminance range. An annular eclipse does not (the brightness difference between the sun and anything else be so large that, except that sunset, you're basically photographing son and silhouettes; there is no shadow detail to even try to capture).

In summary, I don't think there are any lessons you could learn from the 2012 eclipse that would apply to 2017.

Assuming TOP is still around in 4 years and I'm still writing for it, I'll do some columns about how to photograph a total eclipse.

Dear mph,

Hmmmmm, right at sunset for us US folks. That makes for some interesting photographic challenges and opportunities.


Dear Dave,

Yes, I think Paula and I are going to scope out the topography more in the Redding area. Or at least get up high enough that we'd be above the marine layer.

pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 

Thanks for the important reminder that I do need to get the proper filters for my lenses -- and for my eyes. Although I have an ND 3.0, it's for my wide angle -- so I guess it's time to purchase one for my telephoto.

Living in Flagstaff, AZ, I'll have access to many locations with fantastic shapes to use as foregrounds. But with the ND3, it might all be a moot point.

Here's a good JavaScript calculator hosted by NASA that will tell you more specific information based on your location:


If you enter your latitude, longitude, and elevation, it will tell you interesting things like the time, duration, azimuth, and elevation of the eclipse. If you don't know your latitude, longitude, and elevation, they're pretty easy to find through the NOAA forecast pages. As an example, if I got to the forecast page for Redding, CA at


in the upper left corner of the page, I can see that Redding is at 40.6°N 122.4°W (Elev. 600 ft).

North American? Looks more like an American Eclipse .... won't have much effect in the other country in North America, you know, the really large area north of the 49th parallel, Canada.

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