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Best Of 2010 (January 1st - December 30th, 2010)

Elizabeth Gentile

Highland Links Golf

Caroling Geary

4 Seasons: Sun/Moon Rises/Sets of 2010

Deer Lake State Park, Florida, USA

December 20, 2010, sunset/moonrise 16:39, December 21, 2010, sunrise/moonset 6:35 (for three other seasons, see past WWP entries)

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© 2010 Caroling Geary, Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons License



In 2010 I decided to record sunrises and sets at the start of each season: two equinoxes and two solstices. I did it in March and June, also getting full moon rises and sets in September and December. I chose the Deer Lake State Park ramp over the dunes between the beach and forest as the best local location, with a relatively good view of the horizon. My goal was to have a composite panorama showing the risings and settings together to see the distance between them and how they relate to the whole scene.

To get there takes about 45 minutes. I drive my car a mile to a beach access, park, and walk another mile along the Gulf of Mexico to the stairs up to the overview platform on the ramp. I get there 30 minutes before the sunrise or sunset to set up and catch several rounds of photos for the best results. "Best" is highly subjective and changes according to the weather, my attention to technical details, and feeling. So the views are similarly (not identically) centered, exposed, focused, or processed.

Here is a map collage of all the solstice sunrisings and sets plus sunrise for March equinox and sunset for September equinox. Since the sun rises and sets about in the same place for each equinox, I could have subdivided each sun, but chose to give each a full arc of the horizon. The two full moons of September and December never appeared right on the horizon. I pasted them in where they did appear and let the viewer interpolate rising and setting positions.

Having full moons on the September equinox and December solstice helped define the Moon's paths during the year. It is near the Sun's path on an equinox, but opposite on a solstice. If I did spherical panos, I could have added a final touch, the total eclipse of the full moon on the final solstice, December 21. I can report an awesome experience about 2 a.m. on a very cold night, looking almost straight up. Ahead the star Sirius glittered and the Milky Way starlight arced across the sky from SE to NW. See links for the vision that came, impacting my path to 2012.

I have not found other panoramas or photos like this. If you know of any (or a way to search for them), please let me know. Thanks for your work in understanding this complex time-delay panorama.
December Solstice 2010 Sun/Moon panorama: http://wholeo.net/Trips/Imagine/acts/ritual/solstice/Dec2010/decemberSolstice2010sun.htm#pano

4 Seasons external website: http://wholeo.net/Trips/Travel/Florida/srb/DeerLake/2010dlsp/flDLSP4seasonsSunMoon.htm

Lunar eclipse on December solstice: http://wholeo.net/Trips/Imagine/acts/ritual/solstice/Dec2010/decemberSolstice2010happening.htm#ecl

To see the movie without the bug feature in the lower right corner, see http://wholeo.net/Trips/Travel/Florida/srb/DeerLake/2010dlsp/movies/flashSmall/4seasonsSunMoonFlash.htm

Wholeo Online http://www.wholeo.net


USA-Canada / USA-Florida

Lat: 30° 18' 0" N
Long: 86° 4' 41.1" W

Elevation: 3 m

→ maps.google.com [EXT]

Precision is: Medium. Nearby, but not to the last decimal.


Canon 300D (Digital Rebel) digital SLR, EF-S 10-22mm lens, ISO 100. December evening 1/60s at f/11, morning 1/125s at f/5.6. For the three other seasons see the past three WWP events. Nodal Ninja pano head. 12 photos each at 17mm focal length (stitched as 28mm lens). Composited elements of eight panoramas as one in Adobe Photoshop CS4. Stitched panos in QuicktTime Virtual Reality Authoring Studio (QTVRAS). Saved as .mov in QuickTime 7 Pro.

Behind the scene : how this panorama was made

This required eight trips to the same location at the solstices and equinoxes, sunrise and sunset. Any marks I made for tripod feet were weathered away when I returned three months later. Since the tripod was not centered on exactly the same spot and the camera was not at exactly the same height for each shoot, the point of view varies. That's why many of the elements don't line up from morning to night and between seasons.

If I try such a project again, I must devise some sort of a template or pattern to locate tripod legs exactly. Also I must measure the height of the viewfinder and keep it the same.

As you can probably tell, I kind of enjoy the variety and mix of parameters, all providing a slightly different aspect to build a feeling for the whole year.

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