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Partial Solar Eclipse of 2014


2014.10.23

Yesterday, there was a partial solar eclipse visible to pretty much the entire United States. I really wanted to see it; I missed the nine previous times a partial eclipse was visible in Indianapolis in my lifetime, and I have to wait until 2017 for my next opportunity (but first chance I get, I'm booking a hotel room in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, to see totality).

To watch this eclipse safely, I found a piece of welder's glass left over from the transit of Venus in 2012. I wanted to do better than take photos of a green sun, though, and Roberts had what I needed: a neutral density filter (the test of which captured the first of the four suns shown below). It makes everything about 10 stops darker, so it's not feasible for anything but taking photos of really bright objects. It was worth the money, both because this was my first eclipse and because I could use it in the future to take photos of sunspots. I'm a nerd.

I then found a spot along Eagle Creek Reservoir, called a friend over to see the show with me, waited until 5:32pm, and... watched clouds cover the Sun. They were patchy enough at first, so I shot until a solid wall of cloud completely blocked the view half an hour before sunset. I was a bit disappointed...

...but only a small bit. Every time I could fire a clear-ish shot, I looked at the back of my camera and saw something I had never seen in person before: Earth's nearest celestial neighbor casting a shadow onto me, blocking out at least a little bit of the light that Earthly life has depended on for five billion years. I said, "This is so cool!" at least five times in the hour I spent shooting.

Composite of four photos taken at 2:12pm, 5:56pm, 6:02pm, and 6:12pm. Used 80-200mm lens with 77mm ND1000 filter.
Composite of four photos taken at 2:12pm, 5:56pm, 6:02pm, and 6:12pm. Captured with a Nikon D300, 80-200mm lens, and 77mm ND1000 filter.

Continued...

This is most of October.


2014.10.22

Tomorrow, there's a partial solar eclipse over most of the U.S., so the next blog entry will be all about that magic. Today, though, I have to catch up a bit on my Star photo assignments. Here, you'll find photos of a 150-year-old house being moved half a mile north, a cabaret I covered last year, and one of the more unique shows I've ever seen, Optical Popsicle.

As a bonus, I woke up entirely too early on Oct. 8, then waited half an hour and took a photo of the total lunar eclipse. Together with tomorrow's solar eclipse, you might be seeing a pattern develop. You'd be right.

Cast members travel through a black hole during Optical Popsicle, an annual variety show by the collective Know No Stranger, at The Toby Theatre at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014.
Cast members travel through a black hole during Optical Popsicle, an annual variety show by the collective Know No Stranger, at The Toby Theatre at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014.

Continued...

This is September.


2014.09.30

This has been a big month, especially on the medical school front. I've been working on secondary applications, and last week I received my scores on the MCAT (which were quite good!). The work for the Star, of course, continues, and I did six assignments for the paper this month: the front-page community clean-up, a reunion for children who had spent time in the neonatal intensive care unit, two different beer festivals, the IUPUI Regatta, and a charity event called Dancing with the Johnson County Stars. And since the last entry, my photos have wormed their way into five editions of the dead-tree newspaper.

So, uh, September has been pretty good. Let's see what good things October brings.

Engineering and Technology Alumni team members Akram Khatib and Jerry Hohn capsize after an exchange during the IUPUI Regatta in the Downtown Canal, Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. In the regatta, teams race up and down the canal from the head at Fairbanks Hall to the Walnut Street basin and back. Two of a team\'s four rowers paddle from the start line, then exchange the canoe with the other two team members at the basin.
Engineering and Technology Alumni team members Akram Khatib and Jerry Hohn capsize after an exchange during the IUPUI Regatta in the Downtown Canal, Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. In the regatta, teams race up and down the canal from the head at Fairbanks Hall to the Walnut Street basin and back. Two of a team's four rowers paddle from the start line, then exchange the canoe with the other two team members at the basin.

Continued...
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I rented a 70-200 from BorrowLenses.com for the Super Bowl before I got my own. I liked them; I think you will, too.