Has anyone seen the rare ring of fire eclipse tonight?

Dark Penguin

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Aug 21, 2011
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We didn't get the full ring effect in Los Angeles, but still it was the best opportunity for viewing a partial eclipse that we have had in my lifetime. No experience of viewing a partial eclipse can compare to that of an annular eclipse, to say nothing of a total eclipse. Nevertheless, partial solar eclipses with a sufficiently high degree of occultation can still produce some rare and dramatic visual effects.

You can check out my blog post, or for even more pictures, check out my Flickr stream. These pictures were all taken with a 12mpx digital camera, mostly at maximum zoom.

To whet your appetites, I offer here a few sample shots.

The Eclipse Begins. This was taken while holding a solar filter over the camera lens with my left hand while operating the shutter with my right. All these pictures were taken freehand and I think they turned out pretty good considering.

About at maximum. By this time, a thin layer of cloud had moved in, as is very typical of late afternoon Spring weather here. In my opinion though it turned out for the best, because now I no longer needed the filter. As the Sun was now lower in the sky, this shot includes a glimpse of the treetops. The near-total absence of color in this picture is partly, but not entirely the effect of the camera.

And this is the last photo I took, not long after maximum. This photo was taken without zoom, to provide the full context of this rare event. I particularly like how the Sun happens to be visible through the thinnest part of the cloud cover. Absent the eclipse this scene would be flooded with light and could probably not be photographed without a glare-reducing filter over the lens. Which goes to show the profound degree of darkening that I was able to observe.
 

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