Monday, August 7, 2017

Sunspotting

Can't get much bigger than this (aside from the accidental capture of a far-off universe in a night photo):


This is the first time I've photographed the sun as a subject. Only used a UV filter, and dialed back exposure to -2 stops.  That little dot is a sunspot, about 11 times the size of the earth.  I needed to take multiple photos with the sun in different positions just to confirm that it wasn't a speck on my lens.

The smoke from forest fires has made midday feel like a third world country with lax pollution controls.  A week ago, when the smoke began blowing in, it triggered memories of coal smoke from villages in Tanzania and the pervasive smog in Beijing.  Fortunately for us, this should scrub out the first rainfall, which some weather reports are calling for in about a week's time.

4 comments:

Susannah Anderson said...

Beautiful photo! What lens were you using? I keep aiming at the red sun and getting the photo completely blown out.

At least, it's supposed to cool down a little this week. I think that means fewer lightning strikes, too, which should help with the fire situation.

Hugh said...

Cool! I've never seen that, except on shows/websites about astronomy, etc.

Tim said...

Thanks Hugh and Susannah, I took the photo yesterday but reading your solar posts today reminded me I should post my own.

I was using a 70-300mm Canon non-L lens, zoomed all the way in. As you can see from the tree in the foreground, the sun was low, around 8pm. I set ISO to 100, set shutter to 1/400, F/7.1. Image is cropped 1:1. No post processing, other than the text.

This is with a 12 year old DSLR...I'd imagine a larger image with more megapixels in a newer body.

Tim said...

This was handheld as well, with image stabilization on. I'd imagine much better results had I brought my tripod out.