Monday, 21 August 2017, was one of the most talked about astronomical events of the century. It was the first time since 1979, that the contiguous United States had seen a total eclipse. The total eclipse could be seen along a 70 mile wide band, spanning across 14 of the United States, starting in Oregon and ending in South Carolina. Many of our members traveled to one of these locations in hopes of seeing the full effect of this event and to try capturing it photographically. Some of us were less fortunate and managed only to see a partial eclipse, but found it just as much of a momentous event.
In honor of this historic occasion, the Northern Virginia Photographic Society will hold a special Member’s Gallery on 24 October 2017. This special program will be held in coordination with our Members Forum program, which will be presented by Dan Ward.
On this evening, all attendees are invited to share up to three photographs of this historical event or where the sky is the main subject. Photos may include star trails, the Milky Way, the Northern Lights, the moon, sunsets, sunrises, etc.. Printed photographs must be matted in accordance with competition rules, or may be framed or printed on various mediums, such as wood, metal, canvas, etc.. Digital images must be submitted no later than 16 October 2017, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Submitted images must meet rules for digital competition, which can be found at http://nvps.org/home/?page_id=4239.
Please arrive by 6:45 if you are planning to display your photos. This allows for setup time and for members an opportunity to enjoy the exhibit.
Dan L. Ward Astrophotography
An 11-year old, Dan L. Ward first took “close-up” lunar photos holding the family’s Brownie Hawkeye camera to the eyepiece of his Gilbert 3” reflector telescope. The results were fuzzy, but sufficient to nurture a love of photography and astronomy that continues five decades later. While living in Arizona in the 1980s, his film astrophotography skills improved enough that several astronomy magazines published his comet, deep sky and planet photos. David Levy’s best seller, The Sky: A Users Guide featured several of his images, as have other astronomy books. His techniques for imaging vibration reduction were cited in Peter Manly’s classic, The 20-cm Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope and Phil Harrington’s Star Ware (ed2).
Family and career relocations prompted a 20-year hiatus from astronomical pursuits; but for the past decade, Dan has refined his photographic techniques by pursuing nature and street photography. He has been active in the Northern Virginia Photographic Society, the MITRE Photo Club and the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club.
Starting several years in advance, Dan planned a family reunion in Hendersonville, TN for the 2017 Great American Eclipse. Using hard-learned lessons from research and earlier eclipses, he shot the eclipse using a Nikon D620 and D7000 through two astronomical telescopes. He also used an iPhone and a digital point and shoot to capture video of 100+ family members and miscellaneous eclipse chasers who had gathered at the site. Dan and his brother are now planning the 2024 Ward Family Eclipse session in Texas. A small sampling of his astro images can be viewed within his astronomy gallery at http://danlward.imagekind.com/store/