Tickets and bumf for China trip

My China pack arrived the other day.  It contains my flight tickets, and tags etc., but they also included a Lonely Planet Mandarin phrasebook, and an excellent guide on everything to prepare for photographing and viewing the eclipse on the 22nd.  Can’t wait!

Making a solar filter for my camera

Using a cheap Jessops skylight lens, a pack of Baader AstroSolar™ film, and a few spots of Araldite®, I am making a filer for my Canon SLR so I can get a few (pea-sized) shots of the sun as the moon eclipses it, without burning out my eyes or my camera’s CCD sensor.  All I need now is clear skies.

I’ll have a practice round tomorrow in the garden.

Test photos of the Sun and Moon

Well here are the results of my tests - the round one is the sun with a 200mm zoom, and a 2x magnifier and a solar filter.  The second is the moon with the saame configuration apart from the solar filter.
You can see the focus isn't ideal, but provided it's sunny, I should be able to get a good enough shot of the diamond ring!  I've got all my settings worked out, so no farting around at the crucial moment!

Geek heaven

This is the Golden Computer Arcade which is 2 floors crammed full of many many individual 'shop counters' where you can get every computer accessory available.  I could have spent have the afternoon in there.