Congratulations to Robin Jean Washburn of Dallas, winner of the Flickr Photo of the Week contest. Robin Jean has won our little contest multiple times. Her last win was back in June. She follows our last winner, Widad Es-Soufi of Aix en Provence, France.
If you would like to participate in the Flickr Photo of the Week contest, all you need to do is upload your photo to our Flickr group page. It’s fine to submit a photo you took earlier than the current week, but we are hoping that the contest will inspire you to go out and shoot something fantastic this week to share with Art&Seek users. If the picture you take involves a facet of the arts, even better. The contest week will run from Tuesday to Monday, and the Art&Seek staff will pick a winner on Friday afternoon. We’ll notify the winner through FlickrMail (so be sure to check those inboxes) and ask you to fill out a short survey to tell us a little more about yourself and the photo you took. We’ll post the winners’ photo on Tuesday.
Now here is more from Robin Jean.
Title of photo: “08-21-2017 Composite”
Equipment: This image was made using a Nikon D750 and a Sigma 150-600 Contemporary, at 600mm. It was fitted with a solar filter for all images except the center one of totality. Post-processing occurred using Photoshop CS6.
Tell us more about your photo: I had only been planning to experience this total eclipse since 2010. When I was in college I took an astronomy elective. The professor described experiencing totality, and it’s been on my bucket list since then.
I selected the Kentucky/Tennessee area almost immediately because it was at the point of maximum totality. I found lodging in Goodlettesville, TN, about 20 miles north of Nashville and about 15 miles south of the totality centerline. My logic was that worst case, I could experience the eclipse from my hotel parking lot. And of course, I was watching the weather closely, fully prepared to go instead to Wyoming and sleep in the car.
I arrived in time to spend Sunday scouting locations near the centerline. After spending all day looking, I decided that best case was to experience it from my hotel parking lot. I had chosen it because of a large grassy area on the hotel property, and another across the street. And, I only lost four seconds of totality by being away from the centerline.
As the time approached, I backed my car across the parking lot and into a space at the grassy area. At the same time, another car was doing the same. I spent the next three hours, some of the most enjoyable of my life, with the occupants of that car, a couple from Cleveland, Donna and Tony. And, we were the crowd, just us.
I learned a lot from the mistakes I made shooting this eclipse. The most important is the next time I’ll not use a screw-on solar filter, but rather a drop-in one. I spent precious seconds messing with getting the filter off at the moment of totality and again replacing it at the end.
As that professor told his class those many years ago, you can’t tell someone what a total eclipse is like, you must experience it. The dimming of the light, the drop in temperature, the sight of totality, the 360-degree sunset. Oh my! I couldn’t stop smiling for over an hour.
So, I’m once again on a seven-year plan, for April 8, 2024. I could experience that one from my backyard in Dallas. But I won’t, I’ll find a place on a hill this time, to see that shadow racing upon me at 1400 MPH. And we’ll have over twice the time of totality, about four and a half minutes at the centerline, which crosses about a mile west of Kaufman, Tx.
This image consists of 15 separate images arranged into a composite. From bottom left is first-kiss, the first moment the moon took a bite from the sun. A few clouds were hanging around and the next image was partially obscured, but fortunately, the clouds took a walk after that. And, since the clouds didn’t persist, I’m rather fond of those images. The center image is, of course, the solar corona during totality. Most of the totality looks like this, it’s only the first precious seconds at the start and end of totality when you see the beads and diamond ring. Totality is bracketed by the last sliver of sun before darkness, and as the sun reappears. The composite continues to the top right with the last kiss. There were spots on the sun that day which gave it a unique character, assuring it was indeed from the 8/21 eclipse, rather like a signature.