Everything Under the Sun is in Tune...

...but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.

Roger Waters clearly wrote about todays eclipse in 1973! Incredible!

Well maybe not but what a great musical accompanyment for another solar eclipse today. Starting a little before 9am here in England, I hadn't really planned anything for it (ok, so I'd forgotten about it this morning) but wanted to see if I could at least document it.

I'd not photographed an eclipse before, but knew I could manage the light just like any other photograph. I knew I'd have to limit the light coming into the lens as much as I could at the beginning so a welding mask stepped in as a very dark ND filter – it turns out it's about a 10 stop ND filter. As the moon covered more and more of the sun I was confident I could loose the welding mask, leave the aperture stopped down and take a 'naked' image of the eclipse the further towards the later phases. 

As it turned out I was very surprised at how quickly and by how much the light level dropped. From the first image I took (9:11am) to the last (9:35am) I lost about 11 stops of light!

The solar phases, through a welding mask

The first six images here are all shot behind the welding mask glass which is no doubt of low quality, in terms of optics. These images proved very difficult to accurately correct for colour casts and white balance but they did their job in terms of showing the sun as it went through the first few phases of the eclipse.

The last image in that sequence and this one below were shot within 10 seconds of each other once I was sure that I could drop the filter, stop down the aperture and get a safe exposure. I'm sure we've all shot blown out highlights before, but blowing out the highlights pointing directly at the sun is to be avoided. I don't know, but I'd imagine it's definitely not something you'd want to exposure your camera sensor to.

Same exposure but minus the terrible optical quality of the welding mask! :)

This was closing in on 9:35am and it was becoming clear that the waning phase was drawing to a close and the sun was about to wax back into view (does the sun wax and wane the same as the moon, or are the phases named differently as it's 'the sun' ?)

But as you know, you should never not have your camera ready, as just before I packed up to go back inside and make some awesome toast and honey, some birds appeared to 'complete' the photograph!

Final solar eclipse photograph – March 20th 2015

A stroke of luck having the cloud cover come over just as the phases drew to a close and then to top it all, three birds appeared too! Bonus points if you can name the birds! 

Post up your images in the comments below. From what I've seen it appeared to be cloudy most places where the eclipse was visible today, but as I mentioned, that probably added a little more interest.

I'll leave you with a suitable soundtrack your evening, and I'll see you anon.