Castle Point Astronomy Club
Partial Eclipse of the Sun painted by Ted Rodway
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Partial Eclipse of the Sun painted by Ted Rodway
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Original photo taken on 4th January 2011 at 08:28 from the hill above Leigh-on-Sea station.

Camera: Canon EOS 50D; Speed: 1/60th sec; Aperture: f11; ISO speed 250.

The members of C.P.A.C. are a fairly eclectic bunch with a wide range of interests over and above astronomy. Ted Rodway, who is both club treasurer and one of the longest serving members, is no exception. When he's not doing astronomy, Ted demonstrates that he is, among other things, a very talented artist who wields a paintbrush with as much care, skill and precision as he does a telescope.

Back on 4th January, 2011 a partial eclipse of the Sun was visible in progress as the Sun rose and Ted, along with other club members, took a short trip to a local spot that provides a low horizon over the Thames estuary. Unfortunately for all concerned, cloud did its best to negate the benefits of having such a low horizon, but holes in the cloud did allow some of the eclipse to be seen, albeit not quite as clearly as they would all have wished for. The result was that Ted and many of the others took photographs of the spectacle, but Ted went one step further by transforming one of his photos into an oil painting, which is reproduced above. They say that every cloud has a silver lining and it may be that is particularly appropriate in this case because a partial eclipse high in a clear blue sky might well not have made such an evocative transition from camera to canvas as one such as this, veiled as it was by thin cloud and not much more than a couple of degrees above the horizon.

Ted is also a very accomplished astro-photographer and as such he knows a thing or two about image processing. In creating this work of art he has also employed a bit of image processing, although in these circumstances it's better known as "artistic licence." The original painting was a much wider panorama, but Ted decided to do a spot of cropping off the sides, having of course saved the original full sized image first! Thus he produced this comparatively narrow view, confined to the partially eclipsed Sun.


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