Wednesday, 23 August 2017

2017 Solar Eclipse from Calgary

2017 solar eclipse from Calgary with sunspots visible in the lower part
of the crescent. Click to see original file size image. The image has no
post-production editing apart from cropping.  © Julie A. Ginn, 2017
Among the things we had planned to do while my friend Julie Ginn was visiting from the U.S. was to photograph the 2017 solar eclipse. She had brought her Sony dslr camera and zoom lens and I had ordered a good solar filter from a company in New York. Originally, I thought we would go to the "pop - up" observatory at the University of Calgary to see the event but just before we due to leave, I decided, instead that we should go, instead, to Crescent Road which overlooks the downtown core. I wanted to create a composite picture containing ourselves, the eclipse and the Calgary downtown skyline.

The decision turned out to be the right one as we not only had a great view of downtown during the eclipse, but Julie allowed several passers-by and some workmen renovating a house behind us who had been unable to obtain solar filter glasses to see the eclipse on the view-screen. One little girl even got to click the camera but her family left before Julie was able to get their email address to send her the photo.

I took the photo on the left at the time of the maximum eclipse of the house behind us where the workmen were busy. The light seemed similar to that of early evening but slightly less warm and, of course, the shadows were shorter.

John, Julie and coydog Tristan at the eclipse photoshoot
©Julie A. Ginn, post-production processing, John Hooker.

For the composite photograph, Julie set up a delayed shot on her camera after photographing the eclipse at various stages. Because we were back-lit and not much better visible than a silhouette, I cut our images out and adjusted the brightness and contrast; added a photo of the eclipse with extra black to fill the top part of the sky and then added a gradient fill to the natural sky below. The cityscape was adjusted to recreate the lighting at the height of the eclipse.

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