Monday, June 18, 2012

June 6, 2012 Venus transit pics

Another off topic entry. Should've uploaded these images on the day I took them. Transit began about an hour after sunrise and ended noon. It was a depressingly cloudy day and I had to keep monitoring the skies and took pics whenever there was a break. Never actually had absolutely clear skies--haze and high altitude cirrus clouds were practically a fixture. The first five images below were obviously taken even with clouds in the way (you hear Joni Mitchell singing Both Sides Now?). Well, at least I got something. It is a once-in-a-lifetime event, you know.

Camera used was an el cheapo Canon Powershot A480 point and shoot. I used one green-tinted welding goggle glass pane during the first couple of hours but doubled it by around 9am. I just held the glass in front of the lens. Camera was for most part mounted on a tripod. ISO rating was initially set to 80 but in most of the shots it was in auto. Maximum optical + digital zoom using spot metering with the sun centered in the metering zone. Bracketing was performed throughout the shoot--I incremented/decremented exposure compensation by one notch (1/3 stop). Shot some 250 frames, 80% of which are either severely overexposed or underexposed, blurry from camera shake (two welding glass plates is so effective in limiting sunlight that shutter speed went as low as 1/60 sec), lack of focus or hazy due to cloud cover. Venus of course crossed the sun in a straight line but because I moved the camera the planet seems to be all over the place.

1 comment:

  1. Those are awesome shots. To me all of your hard work and diligence was worth it. Did you ever blow one up and frame it? I would have thought Venus would have looked smaller to the sun. Cool shots.