Monday, May 28, 2012

Solar Eclipse on 20 May 2012

Wikipedia writes:

An annular solar eclipse took place on May 20, 2012.   This occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partially obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's apparent diameter is smaller than the Sun, causing the Sun to look like an annulus(ring), blocking most of the Sun's light. An annular eclipse appears as a partial eclipse over a region thousands of kilometres wide. This is also known as Ring of Fire.[1]

An animations of this event can be seen at this link:

It was the first annular eclipse in the continental US since the solar eclipse of May 10, 1994.


I had never observed a solar eclipse and so it was a must to go out and see what I could capture.  Although the path from which the full Ring of Fire could be seen - when the moon is 100% obscuring the sun -  was further East, here in the Bay Area we could see the moon partially blocking the sun. 

I choose Treasure Island  in San Francisco Bay to observe this event between 5:30 and 7pm on May 20th and captured the following images showing how the moon 'moved' over the sun.  Each image was taken about 6-8 minutes apart and then put together in post processing.

Using a series of neutral density filters (~6 f-stops) for my camera and protective glasses for my eyes, it was a fascinating experience.  

Super-imposing the series of images onto the San Francisco skyline was just fun - 
done in post-processing.  

Hope you had a chance to observe this extraordinary event.

Til next time,


Looking for some fun photography outings, check this out:

  • Wildlife Babies in Montana in July - an amazing opportunity to photograph Wildlife babies in a natural setting.
  • Did you ever want to see cheetahs run at full speed at 60 miles?  Here is a great opportunity right here in California.  Combined with the colorful Balloon Festival in Reno --a perfect photo opportunity is set.