This year on the 14th November 2012, a total solar eclipse will be visible in parts of Australia and the Pacific. Being located on 3 hours flying time away this is a perfect opportunity to see my first total solar eclipse. It will certainly be a thrilling experience.
Back in August 1999 I was living in the United Kingdom which experienced a total solar eclipse through parts of Devon and Cornwall. I was located just outside of London at the time which was just north of the path of totality. We only experienced 96% coverage of the sun but it gave me a fair idea as to what a total solar eclipse would be like.
My memories of the day are quite clear. The day was clear and someone in the office had welding glass. When the moon started to cover the sun I rushed home and grabbed my video camera. I still have the video on Mini-DV somewhere and will look to put it on YouTube at some point. I can also remember the temperature becoming noticeably cooler at the maximum point of coverage.
When I learnt of the 2012 eclipse in Far North Queensland I booked my leave over a year in advance. This is rare feat for me but such an event is so rare I may as well make the effort to experience one in person. The flights are booked and so is the accommodation.
Next steps are to prepare to photograph and video the event itself. I've located a nice application called Eclipse Orchestrator which can control when photographs are taken when an eclipse is under way. My intent at this stage is to have 2 Canon EOS DSLRs (7D, 350D) and also a high definition video camera recording. Mounting the three cameras may be a touch difficult but I've spotted a rail system from Giottos that looks very promising. Check it out here (http://www.photogear.co.nz/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=785). Added to the mounting rail I probably need a new tripod and a couple of ball heads so will start shopping around.
That's it in terms of an update for now but stay tuned for more as the big day draws closer.