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May 2012 Photo of the Month: Solar Eclipse Sunset

My May 2012 Photo of the Month is Solar Eclipse Sunset, a photo made during the May 20 Annual Eclipse across North America and the United States.

Solar Eclipse Sunset by T.M. Schultze
Solar Eclipse Sunset by T.M. Schultze

Solar Eclipse Sunset Background

This was a completely improvised image. Like many people, I waited until the last minute to order a solar filter. No surprise that they were sold out. I used a combination of an old, long lens, a couple filters, and my old camera body that I was willing to risk damage.

This is not how to make the image, but I managed. Heading into East County, I had an obstruction-free view of the partial annular eclipse. While this isn’t sharp and the sun is obviously blown out, I was okay with that. After all, the sun’s direct light exceeds the human eye’s capacity to resolve. And it is incredibly dangerous to view directly anyway.

I shot this by aiming the camera body towards the sun without looking directly. I waited for the TTL to light up (with the sun filling it up) to know I was on target. Lousy technique, and not recommended, but I improvised.

Alas, as the annular eclipse was continuing, an unforeseen moment happened. The sun actually set on one of the ridges in front of me, creating something unique.

Is this an award-winner of an image? Absolutely not. That doesn’t mean I failed to enjoy the moment. Indeed, I enjoyed it immensely.

Now, on to August 2017, when we get a full treat of a total solar eclipse across the entire United States.

As always, thank you very much for reading, and I hope you like the image.

Further Viewing

San Diego’s East County Portfolio Archive

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