My interest in astronomy began when my grandfather took me to the baseball field across the street from their home in a little place called Maple Heights. He was an intelligent man who taught me an awful lot; like how to pee standing up! That night, with a white refractor telescope, we looked at the Earth's Moon and, I was hooked like a trout: I was five years old.
Taking astronomy in college seemed like a given, but I majored in psychology. At one point in my life I owned an observatory with two Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes. I've been planning for the August 21st Total Eclipse of the Sun for longer than most of you have been on this planet, but where to view it from?
Living in the Wind River Canyon, in the state of Wyoming, meant we would get slightly over 90 seconds of totality right here at our cabin! Wanting a little more time in totality was one thing, but we would have to leave the canyon for traffic problems never experienced in Wyoming. I naturally planned for the eclipse-of-the-sun right here in the magical Wind River Canyon: I made the correct choice.
A keen interest in solar science led me to a glass solar-filter and hydrogen-alpha filter sets years ago, and of course my hummingbird and wildlife photography experience would be loads of help in hopefully imaging this once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event.
Ending up with almost 200 photographs that needed many hours of work, I enjoyed every, single minute. Working the best images in the Canon software, then Lightroom, I ended up with several phases-of-the-eclipse. My observant wife suggested I make a panorama: I used Canon's Photo Stitch. I tried to make the photograph interesting. The photograph on the left was designed to accent the red hydrogen-alpha prominences; the middle image was worked to accent the sun's corona, and is actually in black and white; the right image is the best of the diamond ring effect. I was very surprised how easy it was to see the red, solar eruptions with the naked-eye.
All this being said, the Total Eclipse of the Sun was a very moving experience. And YES, I am planning for the next one.....where?
The words and photographs in my Wind River Canyon Blog are copyrighted and protected by international law----big deal.
All work by Michael John Balog of the Wind River Canyon in the state of Wyoming.
Thank you for reading and viewing my Wind River Canyon Blog.
Till next week, "Keep your camera ready!"