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Eclipse, 21 August 2017. Scan of unfixed lumen print.

This is an all-day lumen exposure from the skybox pinhole camera (pictured below) on 21 August 2017, the day of the total solar eclipse in North America. I wasn’t inside the path of totality, but observed about 95% coverage with a group of students, faculty and friends at the film school at UNCSA.

The skybox camera uses a pinhole instead of a lens to make its images. The focal length is very short, which gives it a fisheye view of the entire sky. I use it to make all-day lumen exposures on expired black-and-white photo paper. As the sun moves across the sky, it prints its path into the paper as a curved line. Intermittent cloudcover will break the line into dots or dashes.

The skybox camera on the roof of my car for an all day exposure on the day of the eclipse, 21 August 2017

In this photograph, the path of the sun goes from lower-right to upper-left. We had clear skies in the morning, then some clouds around noon. Happily, the clouds cleared out for the eclipse, which appears as a thinness in the line about two-thirds of the way up as the moon progressively blocked and then revealed the sun’s light. Late in the eclipse, some patchy clouds moved in and broke up the line of the sun. If you look carefully, you can see the crescent created by the moon obscuring the sun in the broken area. This is the same effect as seen in shadows of tree leaves.

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