Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Big Eclipse Of 2008

Well, here they are, the pictures you've all been waiting for. This is a composite image of the total lunar eclipse of February 20, 2008. You're looking at about an hour and a half span of time here, from the newly-risen full moon at upper left to the completely eclipsed version at lower right. I had been excited about the opportunity to shoot an eclipse again for almost a month before yesterday, and then the day turned out to be terribly overcast. I had pretty much written the occasion off when, right after sundown, the clouds began to part. At first it was only sporadic gaps, but as it got later and later, it started to be more clear than cloudy. Some of these images were shot through those gaps in the clouds, but after a while it was all clear sailing, at least up to near the moment of totality. Before the last little bit of direct sunlight could slip off the side of the moon, big clouds rolled in. But they rolled on past and I was able to get a shot of the surface of the moon illuminated by all the world's sunsets after all. I didn't stay up and shoot the second half of the cosmic ballet since it's pretty much the reverse of what I had just seen. Plus I had an hour drive home since I didn't actually shoot this from anywhere near my house. Oddly enough, everyone I spoke to about the eclipse near where I live said they missed it completely because of the overcast. So I think I got really, really lucky.

Imagine That

You may recall that I shot the lunar eclipse last night. I'm flipping through the pictures trying to find the best ones, which I'll get to you later, when I come across the shot above. This was early in the evening not long after moonrise and well before the eclipse began. I saw a dark spot on the shot that wasn't there in the shot before or after, and I wondered what I was looking at...

A little magnification reveals that for 1/100 of a second, there was a jetliner on the moon! And it was really, really big! Either that, or I just happened to catch a local jet as it passed in front of the moon. Either way, it's pretty cool. This isn't the first time I've inadvertantly caught something in the picture that I didn't know about until later, but this is the most impressive.

This Just In

I just got home from shooting the total lunar eclipse this evening. I've got lots and lots of pictures to go through, but I wanted to get one up and show you how incredible it looked. Hopefully it was clear wherever you are and you got to see it.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Gettin' Towards The End Of February

Your picture for the week? How about this pelican looming over you like some spectre of doom. Well, perhpas not doom, since it's just a pelican after all. I think I shot this guy up at The Pier in St. Pete. I can't be sure of that since I see pelicans pretty much everywhere I go that's near the water, but there's a walkway at The Pier that takes you down to a lower level, and these guys like to perch on the upper level and wait for scraps of fish to be thrown their way. So I'm pretty sure that's where I got this low-angle shot.