The Artistic Eclipse

Silver dollar moon passing over gold coin sun...

In the partial solar eclipse in Phoenix on May 20 the moon blocked 83 percent of the sun at it's peak. What made this eclipse special for me is that in my lifetime I have had several opportunities to be in a location when there was a total or almost total eclipse of the sun or the moon but I was away from Arizona. At every other opportunity for these events I happened to be in places notorious for gray skies and rainy weather and never even got a glimpse of them for that reason. It's difficult to avoid the sun in Arizona and this time was no exception.

Since I didn't bring even a point and shoot camera because I literally went "in the moment" unexpectedly to see the event somewhere other than I originally intended, I used my mobile phone camera with several different apps and achieved some interesting effects. As I pointed out in my post on May 8, The Artistic Supermoon I knew that displayed all over the web would be technically perfect textbook-like photographs of that event, the same would apply with this eclipse. If you want technically perfect or beautifully crafted pictures of this solar eclipse there are plenty to be found on the internet. These are mine created to turn a classic phrase using "the best camera you have is the one you have with you."

What was more important to me at the time was to experience the event with someone close to me at the spur of the moment while also meeting strangers doing the same thing. It was the classic circumstance of an unusual event where people unknown to each other and unlikely to meet again shared and experienced with what equipment they had hurriedly brought along. Newcomers with little in common that ordinarily might not mingle in a public setting but caught up in the excitement of a unique moment in time created by nature. In the course of it I was able to capture some moments that make for visual art interesting to me that I am now sharing.

What I find interesting about some of these photos is after-the-fact I noticed that I had captured the reflection of the crescent of the moon that was not passing over the sun. Although I didn't get pictures that technically showed the actual eclipse of the moon passing over the sun in the moment I caught images with which I was able to create visual art. They serve as memories of I was there that more than made up for the times I wasn't able to witness the phenomenon.

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