Tag Archives: universe

Solar Eclipse Totality 2017

24 Aug
Crepuscular :: TN

Crepuscular :: TN

How do you describe an indescribable experience? For a few moments yesterday, the mid day sky went dark, the temperature dropped and the people that had piled into Great Smoky National Park with us cheered in awe at the beauty of a rare phenomenon. Anyone who follows me knows the joy I get from these moments in nature, but it wasn’t just the eclipse that made my heart swell. It was made special no just by its rarity & beauty, but also by the fact that for those few hours leading up to the eclipse, everyone forgot their troubles, their politics, their hates and sadnesses, their biases, and we were just a group of friends yet to be made. (Except for that one guy who couldn’t park. Lol) People with cameras asked how to get photos. Neighbors shared their water and chatted. Everyone brought a smile or laugh to their respective conversations. And for those actual few moments of totality, you could feel the exhilaration as hundreds of people whooped and clapped together. To me, people coming together and sharing their excitement….that made this experience unforgettable.

This shot is just after totality, during the diamond ring phase, made with a Nikon d810, Nikon 80-200mm, manfrotto tripod and a solar filter. If you’d like to purchase a print, as always, shoot me a message. 📸

So much thanks to Ed and Zach Heaton for their work scouting and sharing their knowledge of the park with us. They’re great guys and they do workshops in the area (check them out!). Also a great big thanks to Ed, Zach, Jeremy , Emmet and Rob for the spectacular company! 😊

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Guide Us Home :: RI

18 Jul
Guide Us Home :: RI

Guide Us Home :: RI

In Connecticut, dark sky areas are almost non-existent, due to our dense population and the light pollution that comes with it.  That makes capturing the Milky Way very difficult.  To truly have a sky that is dark enough to see detail in the Milky Way core, I need to either drive to Rhode Island (where the is a tiny oasis of dark sky along our shared border) or north and/or northwest towards Massachusetts, Vermont or upstate New York.

So besides the inconvenience of needing to travel, why is light pollution a problem?  Because it isn’t just light.  It’s light that affects everything.

There is evidence that too much night-light will effect trees’ seasonal clocks.  It’s shown that the bright lights of human cities can disrupt migration patterns of birds, the ability of newly hatched sea turtles to find the safety of the water, the hunting and territory patterns of opportunistic animals…. and researchers are beginning to think that the disruption to our – humans – natural circadian cycles is a risk factor for higher incidences of cancer.

“The health effects of light pollution have not been as well defined for humans as for wildlife, although a compelling amount of epidemiologic evidence points to a consistent association between exposure to indoor artificial nighttime light and health problems such as breast cancer, says George Brainard, a professor of neurology at Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.” (here)

So about those pockets of darkness near Connecticut?  Well, Beavertail Light in Rhode Island is along the edge of one.  When my friend Tony Curado, who is working on a Galactic 50 project (capturing the Milky Way in all 50 states!), suggested he wanted to chase stars in my neighborhood, I knew exactly what location to try.

The night finally arrived, and as I sat there under the stars with Tony and Kyle (another local photographer), I felt grateful. There I was, watching the universe do its thing, the sounds of the waves kissing the land, and good friends to share it with.