SE Newsletter March 1999

Ship and eclipse

From: [email protected] To: Multiple recipients of list [email protected] Subject: ship and eclipse Date: Monday, February 22, 1999 5:18 AM

Shipboard does have advantages. I took some great photos of totality aboard the Canberra off the coast of Africa in 1973. Eric Flescher, Ed.D (

From: Olivier Staiger [email protected] To: Multiple recipients of list [email protected] Subject: Re: ship and eclipse and photos Date: Monday, February 22, 1999 5:55 AM

About photos of the eclipse from a ship: serious photographers may want to use 50, 64 or 100 ASA colour slide film for the eclipse. Shipboard photography means you may prefer 200 or 400 ASA film, getting faster exposures and reducing risk of movement. But 200 and 400 ASA slide film is quite grainy (though 200 ASA slides has improved recently, try excellent Kodak Ektachrome E200, or the new great Fuji 100-1000 Multispeed slidefilm and expose at 200 ASA, grain still very limited). Or you need to choose negative film, 200 or 400 ASA print films have excellent fine grain nowadays.

Another interesting try: there's a T160 ASA slide film for tungsten artificial light. Fine grain but slightly faster than 100 ASA. Also exists in 320 ASA (or is it a 160 ASA pushprocessed???)

Hey, has anybody on this list ever used a tungsten light film for totality? I think I will try this coming summer, am curious to see the light effects, the sky's colour, the corona's colour.

another choice: Agfa has a unique black&white slide film (world exclusive!) with 200 ASA, called Agfa Scala, and MUCH finer grain than colour 200 ASA slide films. The gray-white-black tones are breathtaking. It is an expensive film, but who talks money when you are cruising in the Black Sea?

From: Bill Ronald [email protected] To: Multiple recipients of list [email protected] Subject: Re: ship and eclipse and photos Date: Monday, February 22, 1999 8:40 AM

Olivier,I used Kodak Gold 400 for my Feb. 1998 shots from the deck of the Norwegian Sea, since it was the only ISO 400 film available on board when I changed my mind about using the slow film I had taken.

My big problems were the ship movement (ie. timing to get the picture at the end of a sway), keeping the sun framed in the centre of the shot, wind vibration, and deck vibration. For the latter, I used Celestron anti-vibration pads which I think did a pretty good job. The Kodak 400 was quite grainy, so I think I might try E200 in the Black Sea since hopefully there will be less sea movement. For a land site I would have used Fuji Velvia (ISO 50). Bill

From: Cathy Conwill [email protected] To: Multiple recipients of list [email protected] Subject: Vistafjord and videocameras Date: Monday, February 22, 1999 11:15 AM

>By the way, are there any other Vistafjord travellers on this list? Bill

Yes, my family plans to be on the Vistafjord. We'll be the ones with the two girls. I'll be the one obsessing that the two girls are going to burn their eyes out.

So here's a question. Is it safe to point a videocamera at the eclipse (before totality) and view the eclipse on the screen feature of the camera? And if this is safe for the eyes, is it safe for the camera? Thank you, Cathy Conwill Tokyo

From: [email protected] To: Multiple recipients of list [email protected] Subject: ship and eclipse and photos Date: Monday, February 22, 1999 4:22 PM

The points of view below is why I can't believe that any serious photographer would see an eclipse from a ship instead of from land. Jay Pasachoff

From: Bill Ronald [email protected] To: Multiple recipients of list [email protected] Subject: Re: ship and eclipse and photos Date: Monday, February 22, 1999 7:09 PM

Hi Jay, I was serious about the photography when I went down to the Caribbean, and I had a carefully planned photo sequence and had taken anti-vibration pads "just in case". I changed my mind about using Fuji ISO 50 and ISO 100 after talking to Alister Ling aboard ship and experiencing the ship's motions.

However, although I did not get the sort of results seen on Fred Epenak's page: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse.html or Bob Yen's page: http://www.comet-track.com/eclipse/eclipse.html

I did get some usable pictures ... see: http://members.home.net/ronaldb/eclipse/eclipse.html (partial phase and totality pictures) and my final digital sequence, although grainy, did show a lot of detail: http://members.home.net/ronaldb/eclipse/cmp_xdif.jpg

Also, since I had most of my camera and small telescope equipment stolen last year while travelling to a dark site, I am much more careful about where I want to take it <rueful grin>. Bill

From: Levy,Gerald D [email protected] To: Multiple recipients of list [email protected] Subject: RE: ship and eclipse and photos Date: Monday, February 22, 1999 9:39 PM

because if the ship is properly positioned and running downwind and down "seas", on can have an exceedingly stable platform. On the Dawn Princess we were able to photograph the eclipse with both large lens still and video cameras. Plus there is the added advantage of mobility. Either way, they are great ways to see the eclipse! Jerry

From: Olivier Staiger [email protected] To: Multiple recipients of list [email protected] Subject: Re: Vistafjord and videocameras Date: Monday, February 22, 1999 10:20 PM

NO! don't look at the partial eclipse and don't film the partial eclipse unless you use special filter. I recommend you buy a ND-5 glass solar filter from Thousand Oaks . Or hold a no 13 or 14 welder's glass in front of the camera's lens. Don't use much digital zoom, picture quality is bad. Better buy a x2 optical teleconverter. Remember to always put the solar filter in front of the lens, first thing.

see http://eclipse.span.ch/16fe99eclipsepix.htm for some shots of partial eclipse (including annular) which I just did last week using a x18 optical zoom plus x2 teleconverter plus ND-5 1000-Oaks glass solar filter. With the videocam you can manually adjust the exposure setting so you will see details on the sun (sunspots).

Keep your filter on the lens untill 30 seconds before totality. Then, totality you can film directly , without filter.

I recommend you don't only film the eclipsed sun between 1st and 2nd contact (before totality) but also the crowd, the ship, yourself, your kids, your friends.

Again, if you point your video camera at the sun without filter, it is not necessarily dangerous for your eyes, but it will definately damage and destroy your camera.

If you have no solar filter and don't want to buy one, just film the crowd . You can also film the partial eclipse by filming projections of others.there will certainly be somebody with a telescope doing the projection for everybody to enjoy, so you can film that picture. Do the pinhole camera trick. Look under trees (on a ship ??? :-) But keep your video camera undamaged for totality.

From: [email protected] To: Multiple recipients of list [email protected] Subject: Re: ship and eclipse and photos Date: Tuesday, February 23, 1999 1:22 AM

I am very pleased with my photos from the Canberra in 1973. I understand your concerns about ship photography but several observing advantages outway the photographic disadvantages. But nothing beats videotaping the experience. Eric Flescher, Ed.D

From: [email protected] Date: Mon, 22 Feb 1999 10:32:04 -0500 Subject: Vistafjord and videocameras In-reply-to: Your message of Mon, 22 Feb 1999 05:16:12 EST To: [email protected]

It is quite common and OK to take the filter off the videocamera about 45 s before totality; before that, the sky scatters too much to see anything anyway. In Aruba, we videotaped the diamond ring for about 45 s before and after.

I don't understand the other questions: it is always safe to view the eclipse on the screen feature of the camera--even today with full sun. But it isn't good for the camera during full sun without a filter.

I wouldn't stare at the sun at any time outside of totality, though I sneak peaks at the diamond rings during the 5 s or so before or after totality--though it is only momentary glances and not staring.

From: Francisco Diego [email protected] To: Multiple recipients of list [email protected] Subject: Re: Vistafjord and videocameras Date: Tuesday, March 02, 1999 12:30 PM

Be careful!! you may loose your valuable camera. Safety filters are to be used at all times during partial phases, up to 99% or so. Having said that, I have obtained spectacular views of the diamond ring by removing the filter up to 60 seconds before the beginning of totality. I would not try to remove it any earlier than that. You would see the camera field saturated with light and perhaps the camera detector permanently damaged.

Please make sure you know to the nearest second, the moment of second contact. The same thing after totality: leave the camera to record the diamond ring, but replace the filter after 60 seconds...

I hope this helps. I am about to publish a booklet on solar eclipse photography and video. best regards, f

From: Cathy Conwill [email protected] To: Multiple recipients of list [email protected] Subject: Fw: Vistafjord and videocameras Date: Sunday, March 07, 1999 4:06 PM

Dear Francisco, Thank you for your advice on filtering my VCR. Since I will be on a ship whose exact location for the eclipse may not be determined in advance, how will I be able to determine the precise moment of second contact ahead of time?

Please let us know when your booklet is published and how one might obtain a copy. Best regards, Cathy Conwill

From: [email protected] To: Multiple recipients of list [email protected] Subject: Fw: Vistafjord and videocameras Date: Sunday, March 07, 1999 6:07 PM

It is quite obvious when the diamond ring occurs: you are watching the crescent diminish rapidly, then see Baily's beads, and then see Baily's beads disappear. As they disappear, you can take off the filter. Similarly, at the end of the totality, it gets bright all of a sudden as the second diamond ring comes out, and then you put your filter back on.

At Aruba, reporters and other people kept asking advance--how will we know when it is time. We kept saying, "You will know. It is obvious." And afterward, people came up and agreed."

Fred Espenak and I wrote an article in Sky & Tel a few years ago about videotaping solar eclipses. A version of it appears in my book (Pasachoff and Covington): "Cambridge Eclipse Photography Guide" (Cambridge University Press).

From: [email protected] To: Multiple recipients of list [email protected] Subject: Re: Fw: Vistafjord and videocameras Date: Sunday, March 07, 1999 6:37 PM

I think, however, that compared to the six previous eclipses that I had observed, the 1998 eclipse (which I observed from shipboard near Antigua) had the two most "classic" and long-duration diamond rings -- both pre-total and terminal -- that I have ever seen. The view with more than ten seconds left until second contact revealed a perfect shrinking solitare of light, embraced by inner corona. As I was counting down the final seconds to totality I remember saying to myself, "My God! that really IS a diamond ring!" -- joe rao

From: Po [email protected] To: Multiple recipients of list [email protected] Subject: Re: Fw: Vistafjord and videocameras Date: Monday, March 08, 1999 5:19 PM

I recently put up a animated GIF at my '98 eclipse site, see http://www.comet-track.com, showing 2nd contact.

The 1st frame was taken 1 min before totality (some corona visible), the remaining frames 20 sec before. I clearly remember sequencing (manually) thru 2nd contact, & wow, was it long especially the diamond ring. There is a QT video of 2nd contact at my website, but it is only 2fps. The Hi8 video I have shows it better.

I remember the '91 eclipse (my 1st) in Baja. Right at 2nd contact diamond ring, I looked up & VISUALLY saw the most beautiful pearly diamond-ring. I have that memory still ingrained into my neurons to this day. The corona reminded me of an "angry pinwheel". I was in the desert beach off Sea of Cortez by myself (in middle of nowhere in a 4x4). See http://www.comet-track.com/eclipse/secl.html BY

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