Archive | 11:15 PM

All I Had Was a Canon Powershot, My Eyes, and Some Sunglasses

20 May

It was a pretty awesome event even if I wasn’t a photographer.

I didn’t have a linear polarized filter in my camera, nor did I have a fancy Nikon D90. All I had was a Canon Powershot, my eyes, and some sunglasses. But the experience was still pretty awesome.

The eclipse sky

The sky looked like something out of a Stephen King novel and the trees provided some awesome eerie shadows. As I stood out there in the neighborhood I’d never seen so many people with paper plates and cardboard cutouts. A MacGuyver type family showed up with their pinhole projector and their crazy aluminum foil antenna.

Me … I had no cardboard, no paper plates, no MacGuyver apparatus. Just a beat up blue PowerShot camera and some sunglasses from Target. I’m pretty sure they were 100% UVB or UVA protected. I’m not sure which one is better, but I had some protection.

I would not have needed these sunglasses had I made an appearance at the observatory, but it was packed. All these non-astronomy people were hanging out getting the best view of the eclipse. So there was no parking for over a mile and a half and my kids were getting cranky because they wanted to watch Go Diego Go. Apparently my three-year old had already seen the sun today during our bike ride. I tried explaining an eclipse, but he was still a little too young, so I headed to the neighborhood streets without my paper plates, standing next to the MacGuyver family.

So I stood there for a while trying to enjoy this spectacular event that hasn’t happened in my neck of the woods since 1992, but the MacGuyver family with their play-by-play analysis was killing my Great Outdoors Astronomy experience. I took astronomy in college, I knew what was going on, I didn’t need extra commentary. I just wanted to enjoy this cool experience quietly. No noise pollution needed.

So I walked around the block and saw this chick, with two pieces of paper, and her cat hanging out. She looked like she listened to Cold Play. She smiled. I smiled.

We hung out in comfortable silence checking out the eclipse, the awesome spooky sky, and cool shadows forming on the sidewalks. After a while we talked a little bit about the amazing aspect of it all. We tried to take pictures with our non-professional cameras, but they didn’t really come out too great.

But it was all good, even though we had no evidence, at least we were “ring of fire” eye witnesses.