Right after the annular solar eclipse on May 20th I went to the Google+ Photographers Conference in San Francisco. This was a really fun event—more about that later. But I mention this because I got involved in the conference, and then had a computer problem, and didn’t have a chance to look at my eclipse photos, much less process them, until now. So here, finally, is a photograph showing an eclipse sequence.
I felt completely unprepared for this eclipse. I’ve never photographed a solar eclipse before, so I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t have a solar filter, and I wasn’t sure whether I could even photograph the eclipse without one. I’d read some dire warnings that photographing the eclipse without a solar filter could ruin your camera’s sensor, but this didn’t make sense to me. I’ve included the sun in hundreds of photographs and never had a problem. Exposures are short, and when the shutter is closed the light bounces off the camera’s mirror, up through the prism, and out through the back of the viewfinder. Staring through the viewfinder at the sun is not a good idea, just as it’s not a good idea to stare directly at the sun. But we have a natural defense mechanism for this known as pain: it hurts to look at the sun.