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The celestial wedding ring... | by Joe Dsilva
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The celestial wedding ring...

Eclipses have baffled ancient civilizations for centuries. The fact that Sun was recognized as a life giver most likely enticed the feelings of fear and bad omen in humans towards eclipses.


Chinese mythology attributes solar eclipses to the sun being bitten by a dog or swallowed by a dragon. In Norse mythology a giant wolf named Hati sinks it's teeth into the Sun holding it back (well now you know why dogs love to chase balls). The Choctaw indians believed that a mischevious black squirrel was nibbling on the sun. In Hindu Mythology, the sun is gobbled up by the demon Rahu.


Apparently, there are no big time fans of the solar eclipse. No one, ever thought of looking up the ring of fire in the sky and writing an epic love poem. We have however come a long way as a civilzation to understand and admire the celestial phenomena.


So us crazies drove up all the way north to be on the center path of eclipse and shoot that celestial ring of fire... it would have made a perfect wedding ring with Bailey's beads, unfortunately that will have to wait till the Total eclipse of 2017.


As luck would have it, while scouting for locations, "checking out" a vista point, we ran onto a bunch of amateur astronomers who had it all computed and was waiting there with gizmos (long telescopes that could put my telephoto to shame). So we joined the party ...


This shot was made possible by a Marumi ND 1000000 filter to reduce brightness of the sun. I used my 100-400mm with a 1.4 extender and shot at 560mm and later cropped the image. I had to use a higher ISO to get faster shutter speeds due to two reasons. The sun moves, and the wind was shaking my tripod which is very evident while looking through live view at 560mm (yes, it's time to get a heavier tripod).


The sun is supposed to be white (not yellow or red), I'll spare you the black body radiation geek if you take my word for it. However I know that's not very appealing to folks, so just warmed up the white balance liberally to make it look sort of yellowish.



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Taken on May 20, 2012