Here in NY, we only had 70something % totality. Still fun. Already planning next one! Got a few shots through stacked 10stop and 3stop ND filters. 200mm, 1/8000th sec, F16, ISO64.
Even got some sunspots!
You rise like a wave in the Ocean, only to settle back into the Sea.
Also. The Sun always rises…
(Thoughts and comments welcome!)
Half-way over that mythic sunny bridge… A little more ocean warmth, some warmer breezes, sun, sun, sun.. salt water baptisms, and lively stirrings of the soul…..
Monday, March 20th at 6:28am on the east coast, was the vernal equinox. Picture the imaginary plane upon which the Earth revolves around the Sun. The Earth is always tilted at an angle of 23.4 degrees. All winter, the southern hemisphere was tilting towards the Sun. This kind of sucks for the northern hemisphere if you don’t snowboard. It even sucks if you have a wetsuit. On the equinox, however, the Earth’s tilt is such that the Sun shines directly on the Equator – the half-way point between the southern and northern hemispheres. “Equinox” – “Equi” meaning “equal”; “ox” meaning not the 53 point Words with Friends move, but the dyslexic Aussie down-under “kiss”. (Their toilets flush backwards too, xo.) More Sun kisses further into the night. Lord knows we all need some more Sun kissing our faces.
Astronomers often mark this equinox as the beginning of a new orbit around the sun. Astrologers start the year with the Sun entering Aries. Since ancient times, it has been known as a time of new beginnings. Think of the great traditions – Easter, Passover, Spring Break, or the bloody human sacrifices of the Mayans at their main pyramid El Castillo at Chichen Itza, Mexico. The main staircase of the pyramid is constructed at such a precise way that, on the day of the equinox, the sun aligns perfectly to create a serpent of sunlight, slithering down the staircase. Ancient Aliens??? Illegal aliens???? No. Stop. Their calendar ended, died, on the winter solstice of 2012. Sometimes people get out of bloody control and too wrapped up in their own customs.
Easter is a nice myth symbolizing rebirth. Kill a savior. Resurrect him. Rebirth. He planted a pretty big seed there. More symbols… Easter eggs. Eggs. Birth, fertility. Someone planted the seed that on the Equinox, you can balance an egg on its end. Well, don’t try this at home. You will die trying. Some myths are out of bloody control. Some are even co-opted by bloody control.
And, clams come out of their shells.
It was a nice morning.
Almost over slept this morning. Got up, but I was a bit slow getting enough coffee in me after yesterday’s fantastic game. I wanted to get some landscape shots before the sunrise – I like an hour to a half hour before for photography and observing. Those times often offer the best color. Running a bit late, I caught the sun coming up over the ocean, always a blessing, but I missed all the good color from earlier.
The light was still great so I changed plans. I switched out the wide-angle for the Tamron 150-600mm and went looking for wildlife. I was hoping to get lucky, maybe see some raptors or a fox. Drove around a bit, nothing. Had another thought and this is what I found this morning. (Phoca vitulina)
All shots are cropped considerably, even at 600mm, the harbor seals were pretty far away. Because the low sun was hitting them just right, I set exposure compensation at -1.0, to help prevent any overexposure of the seal’s light fur. (Seal fur, btw, belongs on a seal.) I was shooting in aperture priority, not manual mode, since I was kind of parked in the middle of the road, with a park ranger behind me tooting his horn for me to get back in my car.
All shots: ISO 500, F9.0, 1/1250th sec., 600mm. The ISO was bumped up to increase shutter speed, as I was hand holding 600mm. Aperture was 9.0, because this lens is very sharp there, and figured I needed some depth of field.
There are some better places to find seals on Long Island and I will try to hit that in another post. Seals are federally protected marine mammals. Please respect them by staying at least 50 yards away. If your presence alters their behavior, you are too close.