Landscape Eclipsed

Photography 101. Todays assignment: Landscape

I am very lucky to live in a beautiful part of the world with delightful scenery all around me, so grabbing a landscape shot isn’t really difficult. I thought that today I would try a slightly different approach.

You see, today has been very special here in the UK as we lay in the line of a solar eclipse. Unfortunately not in the zone of totality, but 85% ain’t bad!

Anyway, we can’t complain as we had our “Total” in 1999.

Just to explain, an Solar Eclipse occurs when the Moon passes across and obscures the face of the sun. It is a celestial fluke that the relative size of the Moon and Sun appear to be virtually the same, it’s a matter of scale and relative distances! So it is possible for the Moon to totally block the light of our local star for a couple of minutes every few years in different parts of the world.

If you want to see one, the next total Solar Eclipse will be on 9th March 2016 in the Pacific Region near Sumatra, or across the USA in August 2017. If you want to know more, visit the NASA eclipse website.

Now the thing about celestial observation of the sun is it’s dangerous! If you don’t know what you are doing it is easy to get your eyes permanently damaged, looking directly at the sun is a big no-no! Using optical devices such as telescopes, binoculars and cameras for observing the sun is definitely on the danger list…you have been warned!

So being very careful I set up my SLR at around 08:25GMT and set to work. View-finding was done using a screen that I was able to look at without putting my eyes in the firing line. The maximum eclipse was due at 09:23GMT and the whole event would take around two hours for the Moon to transit the Sun, which gave me time to play.

At first the sky was a tad cloudy and I got this shot, which is one of the best I think.

This is looking good!

This is looking good! ISO100 f7.1 1/800 -0.7EV

Then as darkness began to fall I grabbed this moody landscape shot. It really was very eerie.

Strange light.

Strange light. ISO160 f11 1/500 -1.3EV

The sky had now cleared and I managed this at nearly the maximum coverage.

The Moon passes across the sun.

The Moon passes across the sun. ISO160 f29 1/4000 -5EV

All in all, I’m pretty pleased with my efforts. It’s the first time I’ve tried to capture a Solar Eclipse on camera and I think it worked out OK.

For the technical, I used a Nikon D80 with a 135mm lens mounted on a Velbon SE5 tripod, exposure details in each photo caption.

“And everything under the sun is in tune, but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.”
– Pink Floyd.

Catch you soon.


10 thoughts on “Landscape Eclipsed

  1. Nice 🙂 the last one also looks like a beautiful piece of art to hang in the wall 🙂 … It was quite awesome up here in Shropshire today too .. we had a good view …. I had to look through the lens though 😉 LOL not a lot but how else was I to get some pics 🙂


  2. I am sooo jealous! We had a really cloudy day here and the only thing I noticed was the darkening and it felt really strange… I had to go for the live stream 😦 I wouldn’t have been able to capture it with my camera anyway as I don’t have a lens with enough zoom. But great shots!


  3. Great moody images, well captured. Good lens choice too and a Great Nikon. Harley’s and Nikon, you are a man of exquisite taste. Image No. 2 ticks all the squares. Your use of the tripod shows you planned your shoot well. Congrats.


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