Partial solar eclipse

This is the closest to totality that we saw in Bristol during the solar eclipse this morning. Taken on a digital camera, but using a decidedly vintage Tokina RMC 400mm f/5.6 lens with Paragon 2x teleconverter and a custom-made solar filter.

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Light pollution

Being an city-dwelling astronomer, light pollution is a huge problem for me. Sure, I love the urban convenience of Tesco Extra for emergency overnight bacon but the orange glow of sodium street lights really ruins a night of stargazing. I always drive to my dark site in rural Somerset for “proper” stargazing nights and there it […]

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Full spectrum camera conversion

This article is about exploring the world of light our eyes cannot see, using a modified digital SLR camera. I have a physics degree but I’m still finding my way with the practical applications of infrared and ultraviolet, so this article is mostly written from a theoretical point of view. Take everything I say with […]

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A new view of the Sun

Recently I wrote about making a solar filter for my camera but it’s taken a while to get round to using it. I had a quick go today, using my Canon 450D and a Tokina 400mm f/5.6 lens. The results are a bit iffy – there were massive problems with internal reflections in the lens […]

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Making a solar filter

I wanted a solar filter for my camera, for safe observation and photography of the sun. Typically these filters have an optical density of OD 5.0, which for photographers is ND 100,000. This means that only 0.001% of light is allowed through the filter. You can buy pre-made solar filters, but they are expensive and […]

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Red heart

I’ve been ill for a couple of days, but today I managed to find the strength to lift this extremely heavy red filter onto this book. It’s an idea I’ve been meaning to try for a few months.

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More on infrared

A while ago I shot some pseudo-infrared film: Ilford SFX 200. Unfortunately, being the impatient 6 year old that I really am, I didn’t fully read the data sheet. The film is only sensitive up to 740 nm on a good day, while my filter only allows through wavelengths greater than 720 nm. Therefore, the […]

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Infrared photography

When I first started getting into photography a couple of years ago, I wanted to have a go at everything. I bought the cheapest infrared (IR) filter I could find on eBay and was delighted to find that my then camera, a Fuji S9600, was slightly sensitive to very deep red, and IR. I don’t […]

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