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Total Eclipse

It’s not very often that 9:20am looks like this.

Then again, it’s not very often that one has a total solar eclipse pass directly over them.

I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning.

Today, I one woke up, had a quick breakfast, grabbed three cameras and headed to the roof.

8:18am – Once on the roof, I noticed that the sun was fairly high in the sky. I also noticed that there probably wouldn’t be a great photo shot there. Just a small black dot in the sky at the time of the eclipse. So I moved locations to put Confucius in the foreground, making things a little more interesting for the shot.

After I got the camera set up, I started taking some footage with the video camera. I saw a bunch of students with small pieces of black welding glass looking at the eclipse as it started. (An entrepreneur was making a profit at 5rmb per piece.) After a little inquiry, I soon had a piece of glass that I could use to shoot the eclipse with.

8:19am – After holding the piece of glass up to the lens, I was able to view the partial eclipse. In this photo, I used someone’s 3D-type glasses to view the sun (in red) with a bit of the moon beginning to cover it.

Besides watching the moon cover the sun, it was interesting to see the shadows of leaves move from a full to partial shadow. Look for the crescent shaped shadows.

More crescent shaped shadows.

9:08am – This photo was taken using a piece of black glass over the lens. The yellow crescent is the sun, mostly covered by the moon.

The partial eclipse was pretty incredible. It was amazing to look at something so much larger than mankind moving toward inevitability.

Closer to totality, Sandra and Schäfer joined me. Schäfer went for a small walk around “KongZi yeye” (“Grandfather Confucius”). I kept shooting pictures and video. Sandra shot some video with our small camera.

It kept getting darker and darker. Finally it was time:

Total Eclipse from on Vimeo.

After we saw the diamond ring (with little specks of red “coals” seen around the edge of the moon), everyone started leaving.

9:27am – I stayed around to take some more shots of the partial eclipse. Here is the yellow crescent sun with the moon slipping away.

Eclipse shadows.

More eclipse shadows.

There was a man standing outside our apartment who had poked pinholes in a couple of ancient Chinese characters to look at the shadow.

Instead of a full pinhole circle of light, only little crescents appear.

The real work was ahead of me as I had figure out how to get the footage off the big video camera (never used it with a mac), edit the video, and get everything up on the web.

9:21am – What an incredible event to have witnessed. It certainly made one feel small looking at the moon literally cover the sun. While we think we have everything under control, in truth there is a reality that is far above us. What an amazing creation we live in!

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