Eclipse 2017

Height of eclipse shadow detail showcasing crescent shapes. Taken in Cedar Park, Texas during total eclipse of the sun.Start of eclipse image showcasing shadow details, before crescent shapes arrived.

Today brought us a total eclipse of the sun. Hard to believe but, for a brief time today, the moon was in-between the sun and the earth. For photographers, this is an all important event, one which was celebrated many ways. Many, so very many, photographers wanted to get up close and look at the sky as the eclipse was happening. I can understand that point of view. I mean, it doesn’t happen very often and it’s a rare glimpse into our celestial bodies, right? For me, it was all about the shadows and light. I love what an eclipse does to shadows and light. It softens the shadows and makes the leaves create little crescent shaped shadows on the ground. I find that fascinating really. Just the shadows and the light. It could captivate me all day long really.

In case you’re wondering, the image on the left is one taken at the starting point of the eclipse. You can see the shadows are darker, the color balance is different, there is more contrast. The image on the right has the crescent shadows. It’s softer. The light is softer. The light was literally eclipsed by the moon when I took that shot.

Today is also a day we all came together to celebrate science. The earth, the universe, the stars, all of these things are bigger than we are. Perhaps today we were reminded of this fact. We are but small specks of dust in this great big universe. The eclipse brought us all together, today, on this great big blue ball of a planet we call home, to drive that point home for us. We are small.

As part of the eclipse studies today NASA had shot up some balloons. The idea being today is one of the few days they can approximate Mars, since they can launch a balloon up high and get it as close to the sun as possible, well as possible from our little blue planet Earth. I was watching a bit of NASA TV today and they talked about this, about how they launched a bunch of balloons up into the air and they are now collecting data. They launched some harmless bacteria up there as well as a few other things. One of the things on the list? Beer. Yes, you read that right. Beer. Today, if nothing else, we made great strides in understanding if beer will survive on Mars. Hey, that’s a good thing, let me tell you, a very good thing indeed.

Have an eclipse, I mean a beer, to celebrate!

Until next time…

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