Liffey Lights but No Eclipse Shots

August 24, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Last Monday evening, I headed into town in the hope of getting a shot of Ireland's very partial view of the Great American Eclipse - check out some stunning shots of that here. I don't have any proper solar filters for sun photography so I hoped the clouds would do the job for me - as they did for my shot of the much larger partial eclipse we had back in March 2015. The Photographer's Ephemeris told me that, from Sir John Rogersons Quay, the sun would be behind the Samuel Becket Bridge at the eclipse's peak about 8pm (such as it was). Sadly, however, the sun was either too bright to shoot or totally obscured by cloud, so no joy for me.  In fact, there seems to very few shots at from Ireland - I could only find this one peeking through the clouds over the Curragh by Kieran Cummins.

I've been lucky enough to see a total eclipse previously - myself and herself took advantage of a fairly cheap Ryanair flight to Beauvais to catch the 1999 one over northern France - and a weekend in Paris didn't go amiss either! As I didn't have a decent camera then, I'll have to catch at least one more! Maybe, the next American one in April 2024 - and the American annular eclipse in October 2023 would also be spectacular. Closer to home, the next big dates for Europe are in Aug 2026 when a total eclipse will sweep over western Iceland and northern Spain - a good place to see this would on Majorca low in the evening sky where totality will be about 20 minutes before sunset. In August 2027, a monster eclipse will sweep over the extreme south of Spain, and continue through north Africa and Arabia. Over the Straits of Gibralter, it will last almost five minutes and a whopping 6 minutes and 22 seconds in Luxor in Egypt - the second longest of the 21st century. The longest was in 2009 was only 17 seconds longer and the longest ever eclipse will be in 2186 at 7 minutes and 39 seconds. Most eclipses last one to two minutes depending on how close you are to the centre line - and they are over far too quickly! Sadly, I'll be long gone before the next total eclipse in Ireland in 2090 - it will start about teatime on 23 September if you think you might catch it! Totality will clip the extreme south west of Cork & Kerry and last almost one and three quarter minutes at two of my favourite birding haunts at Mizen Head and on Cape Clear. Maybe my kids might live long enough to be there for me!

01-Becket-Convention-Pano-©-2017-John-Coveney01-Becket-Convention-Pano-©-2017-John-Coveney

Anyway, when I realized there was going to be no eclipse shots, I saw there would be a nice blue hour panorama of the Samuel Becket Bridge and the Convention Centre - with still water in the river and no wind to shake the tripod. Although, I've shooting in Dublin's Docklands for years, I haven't previously done this shot.  Because it has been been done by so many others, I wanted to get a good one and I'm pretty happy with this blue hour effort with strong reflections sweeping from the bridge to the Convention Centre, onto the PWC buidling, and finishing at the Cill Airne restaurant boat. It's a Lightroom stitch of six vertical shots using the Canon EFS 10-22mm lens. Each was was exposed for 30 seconds on a tripod at f16, ISO 100 at 22mm. I cropped the resultant panorama to a 3:1 ratio, made some exposure adjustments to brighten it a bit and cloned out a few cranes. Email me at pictures@johncoveney.ie if you would like to purchase a print.


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