Dave's Eclipse Page

    So, I'm not really a professional astonomical photographer, almost everything on this page is stuff that I somehow imaged with my phone, sometimes with a few extra tools. Phone cameras really don't do good astronomical pictures, but I managed to get some shots here and there. The only good partial solar eclipse I saw previous to 2014 was in the 90s, and I had no camera.

2011 Sun Pictures - Kearney NE

    Professor Jose Mena-Werth of University of Nebraska at Kearney set up a solar filter to let students see the Sun in more detail. This was not an eclipse, but was set up as part of the run-up to 2017, since Kearney would be pretty close to the path of totality for that one. These pictures were all taken with my iPod 4's camera, held up to the lens of the telescope. October 8, 2011.

  • Pic 1 - thin high clouds in the way.
  • Pic 2 - Probably the best overall shot.
  • Pic 3 - A bit more washed out, but clearer look at the sunspots.

2014 Partial Solar Eclipse - Amarillo TX

    Professor Richard Hobbs set up some demonstrations for the minor eclipse we got in 2014 at Amarillo College, and I used my iPhone 5's camera on these. October 23, 2014.

  • Sunspot viewer pic - This is a sort of projection device intended for observing sunspots (and there's a pretty big one in this shot), but it works well for eclipses too.
  • Telescope view - Similar to the 2011 telescope setup. This was taken later, and you can see how the Moon has moved from the lower right edge to the upper right edge.

2015 Lunar Eclipse - Amarillo TX

    I just stepped out on my porch and tried to get decent shots with my iPhone. Meh. September 27, 2015.

2017 Partial Solar Eclipse - Amarillo TX

    This was the big one, educationally speaking. It'd have been nice to have still been at UNK for this, but we made the best of it. Amarillo got a nearly total eclipse, just at the edge of "still too bright to be obvious," and we suffered from some thin clouds, which rendered the telescopes and sunspot observer pretty useless. On the other hand, it did mean that regular sunglasses were enough to let people just look up at the crescent Sun. August 21, 2017 (the first day of our Fall semester).

  • Amarillo Globe-News video: Professor Hobbs and I were both interviewed as part of this piece.
  • 12:06 PM - Picture taken with eclipse glasses over the lens, moderate clouds.
  • 12:09 PM - Clouds were parting a bit, so even through the glasses there was a lot more bloom.
  • 12:27 PM - Clouds too thin to get a good shot.
  • 12:27 PM - This did, however, mean that the sunspot viewer worked.
  • 12:28 PM - Clouds swooped in and suddenly I could get a clear shot with no filter needed.
  • 12:48 PM - Another decent shot with nothing but clouds in the way.
  • 12:57 PM - Closest we got to totality, clouds a bit thinned so bloom made it look bigger.
  • 1:06 PM - Probably the best shot I got all day, after I realized that I could put my sunglasses in front of the lens to reduce bloom.

2019 Lunar Eclipse - Amarillo TX

    I tried out an app called Night Camera for nighttime pictures, but the free version didn't let me get things modified enough to get an actual clear shot, even with my sunglasses in front of the lens. This was another "just step outside every so often to take a shot" situations, although I initially stepped out to the wrong side of the house (in 2015, the front door was facing East, in 2019 I lived in a new place which faced West).

   The best pics I was able to get from start to slightly after totality, at which point I went to bed. January 20-21, 2019.

2022 Lunar Eclipse - Amarillo TX

    The next eclipse or two happened on cloudy nights, but May 2022 was clear except for some smoke from New Mexico wildfires. I decided to pay the three bucks for NightCap, and it worked much better than Night Camera (which I had previously incorrectly labeled as the free version of NightCap, totally different apps). I also used a clip-on telescope on my phone for better pictures. Eclipse started about 9:30PM CDT May 15, 2022, totality arrived about an hour later and lasted about an a hour and a half. I got a few post-totality pictures before bedtime arrived.

2023 Annular Solar Eclipse (Partial) - Amarillo TX

    This one also came pretty close to us, enough that near totality you could tell that it was kinda creepily dark out. Unfortunately, it was also the first day of Fall Break, so the professor who has the nice solar telescope was already out of town, and I was left to my own devices. So I made a device to try out pinhole sizes, and I got one decent picture by putting my eclipse glasses in front of my phone (not as good as the 2017 pics, since those were helped by clouds filtering the brightness).

  • My Own Devices - Three pinholes of different sizes and a screen, in one sort-of handy package.
  • Pinhole Pictures - As I suspected, the largest hole-punch one didn't really do anything at the range of a handspan. And I probably should've made sure I was holding the card the same way every time, oops. Still, you can make out some clear cresecnts.
  • Larger "pinhole" pics - I tried using the holepunch to cast a crescent on the ground a couple of times (before maximum coverage and slightly afterwards), plus an attempt to get a larger and clearer crescent by making an O shape with my hand.
  • Phone picture - Once I got to my office (something I'd planned to do on the 13th, but something came up) and gotten my eclipse glasses from 2017, I put them in front of the lens of my phone camera, used the NightCap app to drop the brightness as far as I could, and further dropped the brightness editing in the phone itself. Still pretty flare-y and blurry, especially since looking directly through the glasses gave a nice crisp crescent. Still, I had to try, even if I couldn't get something as good as I got in 2017.

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