As an Oscar-winning executive at Lucasfilm's Industrial Light & Magic, John Knoll has Star Wars-worthy special effects wizardry at his fingertips, yet he needed nothing but a video camera, a tree and the front of his house yesterday to capture this remarkably beautiful "pinhole" video of the annular eclipse.
Knoll, visual effects supervisor on various Star Wars, Star Trek and Pirates of the Caribbean movies, as well as a co-developer of Adobe Photoshop, explains in the video description: "A tree in my front yard casts eclipse-shaped pinhole projections onto the front of my house during the May 20th 2012 annular eclipse. The tree is acting as a thousand pinhole cameras imaging the crescent sun onto the house."
Phil Plait, who writes the Bad Astronomy blog, flagged the video this morning.
A commenter on Plait's blog provides more detail on the visual effect: "Just a bit of clarification on how the pinhole camera effect through the trees works. ... The small holes do not act like a lens, focusing the image of the sun. That is, light is not refracted or bent when passing through the hole as would happen with a lens. (That's the part that is confusing.) Instead, it is more correct to say the small holes act like a pinhole camera, projecting an image of the sun. (Projecting is not necessarily focusing.) Of course you then have to explain a pinhole camera. But it gets rid of some wording that can give a false impression to the novice."
Here's the Wikipedia page on pinhole cameras.
And a commenter on YouTube sums up Knoll's video quite nicely: "This is way better than the two-pieces-of-paper version that we did."
Welcome regulars and passersby. Here are a few more recent buzzblog items. And, if you’d like to receive Buzzblog via e-mail newsletter, here’s where to sign up. You can follow me on Twitter here and on Google+ here.
- Watch Steve Jobs play FDR in long-lost Apple take-off on “1984”
- How Jobs-as-FDR film was made … and Chaplin “cameo” wasn’t
- 2012’s 25 Geekiest 25th Anniversaries.
- History’s first prank call almost as old as the telephone.
- “Hilarious Unix admin tools”
- When touring the Large Hadron Collider, stay with your group
- Looks like Apple paid off victim of ham-handed iPhone search
- The 50 best “Bragging Rights” claimed on Google+
- Watch a blind man behind wheel of Google’s self-driving car.
- More fun with naming wireless nets.
- Techies are spending a lot of time on PCs in our post-PC world.
- Steve Jobs and his gadgets … in LEGO.