Diaries - Travel - Photos
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Another Eclipse - Another Art Show
January 31-February 2 (I think), 2018Dear Diary and Friends and Family,
Written February 1+
Remember last year's Great American Eclipse? We planned for months, flew to Eastern Oregon, camped overnight, and enjoyed a couple minutes of the moon blocking the sun. This year's lunar eclipse was different. We decided at the last minute, left home and drove ten minutes north, and experienced an hour and fifteen minutes of the earth blocking (most of) the sunlight on the moon. Different scale. Different timetable. Different results. A story, nonetheless.
My photography preparation consisted of going out the night before and snapping the almost-full moon from our back yard. No special filters or goggles. Let the camera determine appropriate settings, not fully automatic, of course, but no problem with automatic focus and exposure. A piece of cake.
The newspaper said the lunar eclipse would run from 4:51 to 6:05. so we were up early, but not apparently early enough. From our own backyard, we could see the shadow was starting to cross the bright moon. Apparently the newspaper was talking about the period of full eclipse. Maybe we should just stay home and shoot around our trees?
No, we had a plan, an easy one, and my experience has been that deviating from plans when shooting specific events, leads to mistakes. We drove north and fifteen minutes after leaving home I was set up on a conveniently flat and firm roadside. This site would have been completely unacceptable for shooting starts in dark skies, but I figured the moon is bright, right? Literally as bright as a beach at noon, in fact.
From here, we watched for an hour or so as the earth shadow gradually passed over the moon - and the cold soaked into my hands and ground fog threatened to block everything. (Next time, shoot in the dry mountains!)
Finally, the last sliver of bright moon disappeared and the darkened moon surface turned red from light dispersed through the earth's atmosphere. It's the same red one sees at sunset, for the same reason. While this was happening, my automatic focus was failing to work on the dim moon and my lens was getting misted over by condensing fog. I watched my pictures gradually get worse and worse. I also learned, again, how to manually focus on dim objects. And to wipe the lens before every shot. Lessons, that's what this excursion was all about.
Now, why were we out in this roadside farm field in the first place? To shoot a moonset picture alongside this flag-painted barn, a Fresno-to-Yosemite landmark. The idea seemed good, but the fog and the exact moonset location did not go according to plan. But, maybe it's ok since, for Marianne and me, it captures our morning. All we ever ask.
And, just for the record, the fog and the slow sunrise gave us a few more scenes to remember:
So, a good trip after all.
On Thursday we returned to Marianne's Art Hop art show at the M Street Complex. Within the Complex, there was not much new. The school district redid their work, always a significant change since they control the main hall and the largest room. Nice to see an emphasis on art in the local schools. Now, if we could just convince parents to buy art from that on display!
We again tried to entice buyers with cookies and wine. This time, the cookies disappeared in minutes (as part of the school crowd?), but no one had enough wine to loosen their purse strings. Darn.
There were three new pictures added to last month's inventory to make up for the two sales. Now, if we can just get that ration to change. Maybe you need something new and colorful?
While Marianne was busy serving cookies, wine, and stories about her art process, I drove to a few other Art Hop venues. I started with my favorite: Kliszewski Glass. The boss was letting the apprentice (?) do the hot work, but no matter how often I have seen glass blowing done, it is still a fascinating process that produces magic pieces of art.
Chris Sorenson's eclectic collection of galleries is down the hall from Kliss Glass. Just before Christmas, Ava, Sam and I had thoroughly enjoyed a personal tour of the space.
Chris was still at his work bench, under the protection of an angel. Must work, since he remains active and creative at 90+ years.
Crowded with Art Hop attendees, the studios felt different from my Christmas visit with the kids, but I always enjoy wandering through the spaces to see all the various forms art can take. Even rain coats:
After that, I managed one stop at the "CMAC" building. In May, Marianne will be showing in the nicely-lit hall space and, potentially, I will put a few pictures on the meeting room walls. Maybe.
Anything else this week? Nope. And nothing on the horizon, so we need to get organized!
John and Marianne
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