I had the chance to photograph the much anticipated transit of Venus on Tuesday June 5.  Using a special filter put together by Director of Photography Chad Surmick (for last months solar eclipse) I was able to get a clear shot of the once in a lifetime planetary show.  I took my chances at the end of the day to venture to the coast for the sunset, where wispy cirrus clouds were blotting the horizon.  I figured the colors would be pretty amazing, which they were, but there was so much heat and atmospheric distortion that the pictures, although sharp, didn’t quite make the grade to run in Wednesday’s Press Democrat.

But that’s what is so awesome about the web…you can show how a person is thinking photographically in order to get the best photo possible.  At least I tried!

The Transit of Venus, Tuesday June 5, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

I used a Canon 7d with a 500mm F4 lens.  Once in awhile I slapped on a doubler that made it a cool 1000mm F8 lens.  With the magnification of the camera it turned out to be about a 1200mm image.

The image below was shot with a 300mm and you can just see Venus peeking in to the edge of the sun.

The Transit of Venus, Tuesday June 5, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

As the day progressed, I was able to take the filter off because the cloud and atmospheric haze muted the brightness of the sun.

The Transit of Venus, Tuesday June 5, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

The Transit of Venus, Tuesday June 5, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

 

The Transit of Venus, Tuesday June 5, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Much to my surprise, a jet flew through the horizon making a streak through the clouds.  That worked out okay.

The Transit of Venus, Tuesday June 5, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

The Transit of Venus, Tuesday June 5, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

The Transit of Venus, Tuesday June 5, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

A telescope refracts the image of Venus crossing the plane of the sun Tuesday June 5, 2012 during a Venus Transit party at Santa Rosa Junior College in Santa Rosa. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Looking through a telescope at the sun without a filter can do damage to your eyesight as demonstrated by a leaf catching fire within a second while holding it to the telescope viewfinder Tuesday June 5, 2012 during a Venus Transit party at Santa Rosa Junior College in Santa Rosa. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Denise Howe of Santa Rosa watches Venus crossing the plane of the sun Tuesday June 5, 2012 during a Venus Transit party at Santa Rosa Junior College in Santa Rosa. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Large telescopes were brought out to view Venus crossing the plane of the sun Tuesday June 5, 2012 during a Venus Transit party at Santa Rosa Junior College in Santa Rosa. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

I don’t know about you, but with medical advancements these days, I might just be able to make the next one in 2117.

Really.

 

-Kent Porter