Our recent expedition to Indonesia was a complete success!

Our recent expedition to Indonesia was a complete success. We not only were able to image the totality with the iPhone rig which included the use of the 20x add-on lens but were successful in extending the observation of totality by several minutes by filming from two overlapping locations. 

Camera One was located on Mare Island, a small island to the south of Tidore. At this location, James McClean and Andrias Joensen observed and recorded the totality through thin cloud cover.

A single frame for the RAW video stream from Camera One on Mare Island. Photography by Andrias Joensen.

A single frame for the RAW video stream from Camera One on Mare Island. Photography by Andrias Joensen.

A single frame from the RAW video stream from Camera Two on Plun Island east of Halmahera. Photography by Mark Liston Bender.

A single frame from the RAW video stream from Camera Two on Plun Island east of Halmahera. Photography by Mark Liston Bender.

Camera Two on the tiny Plun island was difficult not only because of the remote location approx. 100 miles farther along the path of totality but also by the very thick cloud cover. The pale white cast across the face of the moon is actually the cloud in front of it.

Map above shows the location of Camera Two on Plun. Mare can be seen to the west just below Pulau Tidore.

Map above shows the location of Camera Two on Plun. Mare can be seen to the west just below Pulau Tidore.

Map above shows the location of Camera One on Mare. The team there was camped on the very summit of the island with an extraordinary 360 degree view of the sea and island volcanoes that surrounded them. This was really a perfect Eclipse viewing location and it took all my willpower to pack my bags and head off to the tiny island of Plun in order to conduct our Overlapping Camera Array Experiment. (See location pictures in the second gallery below)

Map above shows the location of Camera One on Mare. The team there was camped on the very summit of the island with an extraordinary 360 degree view of the sea and island volcanoes that surrounded them. This was really a perfect Eclipse viewing location and it took all my willpower to pack my bags and head off to the tiny island of Plun in order to conduct our Overlapping Camera Array Experiment. (See location pictures in the second gallery below)

Andrais and James are seen here preparing the two identical cameras systems in preparation for transporting to our two island locations. Here you can see the identical BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Cameras equipped with 300mm Nikor lens. Camera system ONE (seen here in the foreground) also has the 20x iPhone add-on lens. The iPhone is not attached as I was using it to take this picture. One of the drawbacks of using your iPhone (or any other "smart phone") to photograph the eclipse is that you will not be able to use your smart phone for all the other photos you'll be wanting to take. Both systems are supported by the SkyWatcher Star Adventurer Tracking Mount which is our mount of choice for the Eclipse Across America project. 

Andrais and James are seen here preparing the two identical cameras systems in preparation for transporting to our two island locations. Here you can see the identical BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Cameras equipped with 300mm Nikor lens. Camera system ONE (seen here in the foreground) also has the 20x iPhone add-on lens. The iPhone is not attached as I was using it to take this picture. One of the drawbacks of using your iPhone (or any other "smart phone") to photograph the eclipse is that you will not be able to use your smart phone for all the other photos you'll be wanting to take. Both systems are supported by the SkyWatcher Star Adventurer Tracking Mount which is our mount of choice for the Eclipse Across America project. 

Camera System Two (sans iPhone) on location at Plun island (see map above). Photo pulled from video I shot to document the location. This was only a few minutes after third contact (T3) of the eclipse event and I had pulled the iPhone off the mount and tilted the rig down so that the lens was not pointing into the direct sunlight.

Camera System Two (sans iPhone) on location at Plun island (see map above). Photo pulled from video I shot to document the location. This was only a few minutes after third contact (T3) of the eclipse event and I had pulled the iPhone off the mount and tilted the rig down so that the lens was not pointing into the direct sunlight.

All photos here in this slide show were taken by Elisa Brune. She was able to capture the "feel" of the environment on Plun Island before, during and after the eclipse. You can see from one of her photos just how cloudy it really was on the day and in particular just as totality began.

Locations still from our recce to Mare, the small island south of Tidore which can be seen in many of these photos, and also from the actual excursion to eclipse day. While I traveled to Plun Island 100 miles farther along the path of totality, James and Andrais set up camp the night before totality with the aid of Echo, our Indonesian Brother and Guide. Echo took these photo which document the location for Camera One of our Overlapping Array Experiment.  The experiment was a "Proof of Concept" test for our proposed 100 Camera System which will create a uninterrupted continuous full-motion HDR video of the entire 90 minutes of the landfall observable Eclipse Across America.   

Filmed at two island locations 90 kilometers apart along the path of totality in Eastern Indonesia 2016

 

Here's just a small sampling of previous eclipse events this team has studied and experienced over the last 16 years.

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Bermuda TRAINGLE ECLIPSE

November, 2013. This image of the amazing Hybrid eclipse at sunrise in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle was taken by Xavier Jubier aboard the historic flight which intersected the path of the eclipse for a duration of 5 seconds. Xavier was responsible for the complex navigation and the flight plan that allowed the plane to view and capture this rare event. (photo credit: Xavier Jubier)

 

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Australia's ring of fire

Summer, 2013 - A stunning sunrise Annular "ring of fire" Eclipse as witness and filmed by Mark, James and Xavier south of Newman in Western Australia. Mark is seen here filming the vent with a 306 degree panoramic lens / camera system. (Photo credit: James McClean)

 

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easter island eclipse

July 11th, 2010 - An amazing Total Eclipse experience. The scene at Anakena, which was one of the many possible Moai sites that we considered for our Nat Geo Special. (Photo credit: Mark Liston Bender)

While Xavier Jupier was flying directly into the middle of the Bermuda Triangle where he captured his remarkable image of the Hybrid Eclipse (seen above) , Leslie Kothmann and Mark Bender were on the island of Bermuda in hope of witnessing a 97% partial phase at sunrise rising out of the sea. The expectation and hope was that at 97% we would see something akin to the annularity seen in Western Australia (seen above). This was not be, as while the previous three days had seen clear skies on the horizon, the day of the eclipse saw thick cloud cover that completely obscured the eclipse. It was many minutes later before we could see the sun burst out above the clouds and by the time I imagined the above composition, we were only seeing about 40% occultation.

While Xavier Jupier was flying directly into the middle of the Bermuda Triangle where he captured his remarkable image of the Hybrid Eclipse (seen above) , Leslie Kothmann and Mark Bender were on the island of Bermuda in hope of witnessing a 97% partial phase at sunrise rising out of the sea. The expectation and hope was that at 97% we would see something akin to the annularity seen in Western Australia (seen above). This was not be, as while the previous three days had seen clear skies on the horizon, the day of the eclipse saw thick cloud cover that completely obscured the eclipse. It was many minutes later before we could see the sun burst out above the clouds and by the time I imagined the above composition, we were only seeing about 40% occultation.