At the moment, the coronavirus seems to have sucked all the oxygen out of the air. In fact, the word 'coronavirus' has become the most searched word on the internet. Even those who have not personally been infected by Covid-19 have been affected by it to a point where it has a tremendous amount of gravity, almost constantly pulling our attention away from other things that are more important to us.
While I'm not suggesting that we prematurely put an end to social distancing and taking the necessary precautions, I hope it won't be long before we are able to turn our attention back to those important things and maintain focus. One way to facilitate that may be to remind ourselves that while the coronavirus is worthy of our attention and effort, there are other things in our world that are equally, or more important. For me that includes connecting with my photography group, online or for our weekly walks, during which we sometimes get to witness unique and mind blowing sights.
One of those happened recently, in early January, when there was so much pollen floating in the air around Austin that an amazingly bright, rainbow colored pollen corona appeared around the sun. Coronas appear when light scatters off of small particles like pollen or tiny droplets of water. They most frequently materialize on cloudy days, when the water in clouds scatters the light from the sun. Often they go unnoticed because seeing them requires looking toward the sun and blocking it so that the bright sunlight doesn't harm our eyes.
After leaving the group that early January morning, and before I went home, I decided to stop at the Texas Capitol to take photos of the corona with the Goddess of Liberty statue in the foreground. I ended up working around the area for more than an hour, finding a number of things to block the sun and add to the picture, like the Texas star and the flag.
One fantastic thing about digital cameras versus film cameras is the LCD screen. I couldn't have taken these photos without it, because looking even at this much sun can do some pretty serious damage to eyes. So, to take these photos, instead of looking through the viewfinder, I turned on the LCD and used it to determine the right settings and compose the photos. If you ever find yourself taking photos that include the sun in any way, including sunrises and sunsets, be sure to look only at the LCD on your camera or phone.
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