Compared: 1999 and 2015 eclipse pics
After this morning’s near disaster of NO eclipse pic at all, I thought it might be an idea to try to compare what I caught back in 1999 to what I had just managed to catch in 2015.
As an aside, it was all a bit surreal, as I can remember the day quite well, and it was odd to reflect on how much has changed since then (and none for the better – such is life).
The main thing I was interested in was the amount of eclipse I caught then and now. Although this eclipse covered more of the Sun, I actually caught more coverage in 1999 than today, as I had an almost constant view last time. This time, I had a matter of seconds during a brief opening in the clouds, almost as the event ended.
The 1999 event was captured on film, and this has proved remarkably difficult to transfer to digital.
Although I have two units that transfer negatives to digital, they cannot cope with the extreme dark background and single light object, and produce horrible results. I ended up just photographing the print, which worked much better in this case.
I once fell out with a film processor in Glasgow after complaining that they only printed two or three pics from a 36-exposure roll I had taken at night in an illuminated theme park – the manager all but threw me out and told me I was lucky he did not charge me for the blown bulbs in his enlarger, as it tried to print the negs.
The original print from 1999 is better than the digital version below, which is not retouched. I did try some quick post-processing, but everything I came up with was even worse. I think this would need careful and slow exposure of the original in order to get a decent copy, but this quick comparison did not merit such a set up.
Still, it does show that my recollection was not too far off the mark, and I did catch more of the Sun’s disc in shadow back then:
Here’s the view I caught in 2015, for comparison – if nothing else, it looks like digital beats film for this job, as I had lots of time to get the film pic, but just had seconds to guess the setting for the later digital one:
Don’t be fooled by the difference in Sun ‘size’ between these two – both are cropped from their respective originals (the film print quite a lot, as it came on glossy paper and had loads of reflection to be rid of).
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