Eclipse, Brooklyn

This afternoon I biked eagerly to the art gallery Pioneer Works, in Red Hook, which was hosting an eclipse-viewing party and was handing out the special glasses needed for viewing, only to find that even at 12:45pm, the line for admission wound all the way around the block, looped, and wound all the way around the block again. I waited until I reached the inner ring of waiting, at which point a staffer declared that the building was at capacity and out of eclipse-glasses and we should all go home.

Biking my retreat, I stopped a second-grader carrying a jerry-rigged cereal box to ask how she had made it. While she carefully explained, her brother let me have a look through his eclipse glasses. I saw that the Cookie Monster of the moon had begun munching the sun. I hurried home, and following directions, cut two holes in one end of a shoebox, taped aluminum foil over one of them, pricked the foil, and managed to see a faint dot inside the shoebox at the far end, slightly nibbled. It was a little clearer than this in real life; I couldn’t quite photograph it:

Into a pinhole camera, #eclipse2017

When Peter and I wandered into Prospect Park, my homemade pinhole camera proved useful for trading views with people who had better apparatuses. The simplest and most spectacular was an upside-down colander, which sprayed a whole constellation of eclipsed mini-suns onto the sidewalk.

Eclipse viewed through a colander, #eclipse2017

Holding a pair of binoculars backwards, with one eyepiece shuttered, and aiming the image onto a blank sheet of paper, created perhaps the most elegant design. There are two here; my shaky hand is holding the pair of binoculars on the right.

Backwards binoculars, #eclipse2017

It was one of those lovely rare moments when New Yorkers seemed happy to be approached by strangers and willing to share with them easily. A few more devices and images:

Large pinhole camera, #eclipse2017

Photographing through a borrowed pair of eclipse glasses, #eclipse2017

Eclipse through leaves, #eclipse2017

Peter, #eclipse2017

Eclipse through backwards binoculars, #eclipse2017

Eclipse through backwards binoculars, #eclipse2017

Double-oatmeal-canister pinhole camera, #eclipse2017