Nov 142012


14 November 2012

We awoke at 5 o’clock this morning to prepare for an experience of a lifetime; viewing a total solar eclipse. I looked outside and noticed there was quite a lot of heavy cloud around and it was raining lightly. Not a good start for the eclipse which was due to reach totality at 6:38 am.

By about 5:45 the rain had stopped and the cloud cover was thinning slightly so I proceeded to set up my video camera and dSLR on the roof of our house. We had contemplated traveling to a high vantage point, but with somewhere between 50,000 and 60,000 visitors in Cairns for the event and all the locals out and about we decided it wasn’t worth risking the roads.

As it happened, there were plenty of breaks in the cloud cover and I managed to capture most of the shots I had hoped to get. My greatest problem turned out that I couldn’t see the camera settings during totality, causing me to miss a few shots while I fumbled and adjusted settings blindly. Next time I must remember to take a torch.



  23 Responses to “Cairns Total Solar Eclipse 2012”

  1. It’s really being appreciated. The people that I sent it to in New Mexico,loved it and answered right away to say how great it was
    It’s MOST unusual for me to get an answer so quickly
    The only part I saw was on TV and ofcourse the fact that it got really dark,because of the clouds and trees
    Still it must have done Cairns a lot of good I have never seen so many people in town

    • Yes, with so much cloud about there were a lot of people who missed it completely. Actually, we were lucky anyone got to see it since it’s so often cloudy at this time of the year.

  2. Good work Mike……But did you do that on your head???The ladder was really the right way up….Cheers Mike


    • Thanks, Denis. That’s my point. The ladder was the right way up. It was the house and me that were upside down.

  3. Pretty spectacular stuff Mike. But you do set the bar high don’t you? 🙂

  4. Hey Mike,

    I knew it was going to be brilliant. You never seem to amaze me and now your newest fan is our baby boy Sam (9 months) . He’ll be able to understand what all the WOW is about when he’s 16 (or there abouts).

    Your work is better than some NASA videos out there on the net .
    Purely a work of a genius.

  5. Superb pictures Mike. We walked up the hill behind the house to get a view but soon decided the cloud was so thick that we’d be better watching it on TV. All the parrots that we hand feed had 2 breakfasts. One at 6 am before they all went back into the trees for a quick snooze at 6.35, then they woke up again at 6.45 and started screeching for brekky again on ‘this brand new day’. These solar eclipses can be expensive.

    • Thanks, Ian. I’m a bit surprised Lulu didn’t think of the 2 breakfast idea. She’s usually quick to come up with new excuses to be fed.

      As for the eclipses being expensive, I still don’t understand why they didn’t put on 2 or 3 of them on for the people who had traveled so far.

  6. Ahhhh.. Mike this looks great, just wish I could have been there to see it. Down here it just wasn’t worth getting out of bed for… still I hear that this happens somewhere in the world every 18 months so I may get to see it in all it’s entirely somewhere else.. one day. 🙂 In the meantime this is well worth watching.. loved it.

    • Thanks Diane. I understand that there are between 2 and 4 total eclipses per year, but a lot of them occur over the sea.

  7. Nice photoshopping. 🙂 (hey, it has to be some fx, everyone knows the earth is flat)

    More seriously, exccellent job.

    • Of course the world is flat, and sits on the back of 4 enormous elephants. but the sun and moon do orbit around it, as everyone knows. Thanks, Ken.

  8. Stunning! Sure beats me going out into the backyard with a dish of water to I could watch the eclipse in the reflection. We didn’t get the full eclipse here, only about 75%. Still enough to send those primitive shivers down the spine.

    • Thanks Lyn. I’m glad you didn’t have a full eclipse. The reflection trick doesn’t protect your eyes at all. It did feel weird. I felt the temperature drop, but curiously, the birds didn’t go quiet. The mix did change, so some birds must have stopped singing, but we had a flock of lorikeets fly over squawking loudly right at totality.

  9. I hope your photographic essays bring you as much pleasure as they do for me. Thanks for yet another wonderful job.


  10. Hey! Your ladder is upside down! 🙂
    Great footage, you lucky bastard! I’d love to see a total eclipse… 🙁

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