March 20, 2015

Solar Eclipse!

Ok, so I was not prepared. I don´t know what I was thinking. I have seen eclipses before, and this is what I have done: poke a small hole in a piece of cardboard or similar, then project onto a surface and watch the thing happen. I don´t want to look into the sun, even with special glasses, it seems unhealthy. But I thought I would photograph the projection, anyway. This was the setup and if it looks awkward it is because this was the only place where the sun shone in between 10 and 12 today. It´s my stove. (It occurs to me now that I might have been able to catch it on our second floor, shining on my laundry, but as I said, I was not prepared.)

That´s just a lowly envelope taped to the kitchen ventilator and a
black plastic box turned on its side.

I got two reflections. 

This was the best photo I got, at precisely 11 o´clock. Then it occured to me that I have a camera of some ability in my hand. Perhaps I could photograph the sun?


Well, with some hurry I first dug out the tele lens and put that on, which gives me 200 mm, turned to Manual and set the shortest time I could, a 1/6000 of a second, the smallest aperture, 32, and set the exposure down as much as I could from that. That worked a bit better, but still pretty fuzzy.

Then it occurs to me that I have a tripod. (It´s been a while since I took photos, as you can tell.) That makes one heck of a difference.

Slightly astigmatic, but kinda interesting.

Here I activated the delayed exposure button, to minimize
the handshake effect (in spite of the tripod).

But what really made it good was this little setup. Those are two sunglasses taped onto the lens. You take what you have, right? That took care of the astigmatic effect (I´m sure it has a name, but I don´t know what it is). I got this fairly sharp image at about 11:15, så the eclipse maximum was over, but still pretty good.

I didn´t get this close with the lens, but chose the RAW format and then
cropped all the photos later in Silky Pix. 

Also kind of interesting, a plastic paper towel holder reflected the sun onto the ceiling, and you could see the eclipse in the reflection!

After the eclipse. 

And below are photos of the last half hour of the eclipse. I got more light effects in the end, after the cloudiness cleared up completely. You wouldn´t think clouds would be good on an occasion such as this, but they helped, actually.



  1. I've done the pin hole image projected on a card "thing" in the past, and it works for us; but we were out of luck here for this eclipse. Thanks for sharing your images :)

    1. You´re welcome. Last time we had an eclipse it was something like 4 in the morning. I was at work and remember doing my cardboard hole projection out of doors, on a house wall. Most people slept that one out.

      This time I think most people worked through it; the postman called while it was on and brought me some books and dvds from amazon. I opened the door with the camera in hand, a bit stressed and he looked at me so funny I had to explain. "All right," he said, "I´ll have to go out and watch, then." I hope he took care...