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Herman's Own Holiday Cards for Sale  26th year summery


Solar eclipse

      When Herman told me how he filmed this total eclipse of the Sun, my jaw dropped in amazement. Having some experience with astronomy and cameras, I couldn’t believe the planning and patience that went into the shot.

      The photograph of twenty-five images was taken on one, that’s right, one exposure! Herman made a card with twenty-five tiny squares (see below) that fit over the viewfinder. Without advancing the film he carefully aligned the Sun from one grid frame to the next every ten minutes. He had to use a filter when the Sun was bright and removed it as the sky became dark and the sun was mostly obscured by the Moon.

      Now, keep in mind that Herman was on the Cunard Adventurer, 900 miles off the coast of Trinidad. Since boats are always in motion from the heaves and swells, his patience was tested.

HH - "I hadn't anticipated the ship's motion. It was rocking!
But I was the champion shooter one year on my summer
camp's riffle range, and that experience saved the
day for the photo. I could anticipate the sun's up and down
motion and snap the camera just a fraction of a
sec. before the image was centered in a hole. Whew!
Makes me nervous thinking about it!"

      Amazingly, Herman pulled it off without a flaw. Each phase of the solar eclipse was perfectly represented on one exposure of film in each of the grid frames while correcting for the motion of the boat!

Steve Cunningham
March 9, 2011


Zenobiaflex camera

Herman's twin lens Zenobiaflex camera was used for the Solar eclipse. This camera uses 120mm (2-1/4" x 2-1/4" film with a 75mm lens.

Eclipse filters

The left grid is for the Zenobiaflex camera and the one on the right is for Herman's Mamiya C220 camera which had a pair of 250mm twin lenses yielding much larger images than the Zenobiaflex. Herman used his Mamiya C220 for his 1973 Lunar eclipse photograph.

Note that Herman shaved his beard.

Herman's grid in place on the camera

With the grid in place, the sun had to be aligned perfectly in each sequential square while the boat was heaving and dipping..