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Total Solar Eclipse - 14th November, 2012: Pormpuraaw, QLD, Australia


Location: 14 53' 25.8" S, 141 38' 8.4" E
Duration: 1m 53.1s (limb-corrected)

Despite a small hiccup at 3am on the morning of the eclipse (our charter plane didn't have any fuel...) we successfully observed the total solar eclipse from a spectacularly scenic location in Pormpuraaw, on the western coast of Cape York peninsula. Clear skies allowed an unobstructed view of both diamond rings, totality, and the amazing umbral shadow cone moving across the sky. The following photographs documenting the event were all taken with a carefully constructed autonomous & hands-free imaging program.

Canon 5D Mark II w/ Canon 17-40 mm f/4
  - Focal length: 20 mm
  - ISO: 100
  - Control: Laptop w/ Eclipse Orchestrator (script - Wide)

  Wide angle view of totality. Blend (using layer masks; not HDR) of four exposures: 1/30s (lunar silhouette & inner corona; 1/4s (sky & outer corona); 1/2s (horizon colours in the region not in shadow); and 2s (landscape & tree).
  As above, but a 16:9 crop.
  As above, but showing partial phases as well. Exposures pre-totality were 1/15 seconds, every 6% (3m45s interval), up to 88%. Exposures post-totality were 1/125 seconds, every every 6% (3m45s interval), from 88%.
  Sequence showing the movement of the umbral shadow over the course of the eclipse. Exposures were 1/8s, taken at (relative to mid-eclipse): -49; -16; -3; +19; +42 seconds.

Canon 400D w/ Tamron 500 mm f/8 mirror
  - Focal length: 500 mm
  - ISO: 100
  - Control: Laptop w/ Eclipse Orchestrator (script - Telephoto)

  Mosaic of images showing the partially eclipsed Sun rise. Exposures were 1/2000s.
  Mosaic showing 2nd (top; left) and 3rd contact (bottom; right) diamond rings / Bailey's beads / chromosphere and of course totality. The 2nd and 3rd contact diamond ring sequences were 1/125s and taken at: C2-4; C2-2; C2-1; and C2-0 seconds and: C3+0; C3+1; C3+2; C3+4 seconds respectively. The chromosphere images were 1/1000s, and the corona is a single shot at 1/60s.
  2nd contact diamond ring, taken 2 seconds prior to C2. Exposure was 1/125s.
  Composite image made up of exposures taken 5 seconds after/before 2nd/3rd contacts respectively. Exposure was 1/1000s.
  Digital blend of seven exposures: 1/250; 1/125; 1/60; 1/30; 1/15; 1/8; and 1/4 seconds.
  3rd contact diamond ring, taken 2 seconds after C3. Exposure was 1/125s.

Canon 400D w/ Canon 70-300 mm f/4
  - Focal length: 70 mm
  - ISO: 100
  - Control: Interverlometer (3 second interval) & automatic exposure bracket

  Total eclipse with mid-range telephoto lens (70 mm). This shot is a blend of three exposures: 1/15s (inner corona); 1/4s (outer corona); and 1s (sky & land). The corona images were mildy enhanced using standard layer masks & radial blur methods.

GoPro Hero 2 (timelapse)
  - Control: Built-in intervalometer (1 second interval)

  These two images demonstrate how stacking can greatly increase the signal-to-noise ratio of the JPEG images from the GoPro (there is no way to shoot RAW or even choose any JPEG settings). The upper image is a straight crop from a single exposure; while the lower panel shows a stack (averaged) of 20 images.
  2nd contact, mid-totality, and 3rd contact as seen by the GoPro. Each panel is median combine of two images.
  An uncropped shot from around mid-totality, showing the field of view of the GoPro camera. This is a median combine of four images.

Canon Powershot S100 (Timelapse video coming soon!)
  - Focal length: 5.2 mm
  - ISO: 400
  - Exposure: RAW; Av mode; -1/3 EV
  - Control: CHDK intervalometer (~3 second interval)

Canon IXUS 220 HS (Realtime video coming soon!)
  - Focal length: 4.3 mm
  - ISO: 400
  - Control: Manually activated 5 mins before totality

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