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Old Jul 6, 2002, 11:23 PM   #1
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Default Sunspots?

Was looking for birds with the D60, 100-400 & 2X extender on the tripod. The sky was very overcast this July 6 in NY, when the sun started to break through looking like an orange.

I swung the lens around, prayed I wouldn't be blinded, and took one shot. I saw what looked like big dust on either the lens or the focusing screen, but when I jiggled the camera, the "dust" moved with the image of the sun.

I grabbed my 1.4X extender and piggybacked it on the 2X and took this shot. It was cropped and sharpened in Photoshop. No other editing.

Focus was manual, exposure was evaluative but smack on the sun, with -1.5 EV.

Are these sunspots, or storms, or flares, or what?

[Edited on 7-7-2002 by WalterK]
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Old Jul 7, 2002, 5:22 PM   #2
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Default Sunspots

Nice picture! Those are indeed sunspots. The larger group shows an 'umbra', the darker area, surrounded by a lighter area called the 'penumbra'. There is also subtle granulation visible on the surface.

Be VERY careful with this type of photography. It is possible to do permanent damager to your eyes. Filters for viewing and photographing the sun are available - check with a local planetarium or museum for sources.

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Old Jul 7, 2002, 6:29 PM   #3
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Thanks, Don.

I wouldn't have tried it if the smokey haze weren't making the sun so dim. I will check out the filters.

What I really wanted was a big red sun that I could use in composites with birds, etc sillhouetted. The sunspots were a totally unexpected bonus.

I also wanted to see if the pair of tele extenders could produce a usable shot, which they apparently can.

I just looked at your airshow pix again. You should really be proud of them. Next step is to get them from another airplane...
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