Solar Eclipse 2015

Posted in Photography on 20th Mar 2015

Tags: astrophotography

Surprisingly this is my first photography blog post! If you are here for the photos be my guest and view them here. If you fancy a little read of how we got to take the photos and view the solar eclipse please read on. Either way i’d love to know your thoughts and experience of the eclipse in the comments!


After searching around online I came to the conclusion I needed to get some solar safety film and build a filter to take some photos of this big event without destroying my eyes in the process! I opted to buy an a4 sheet of “Baader AstroSolar Safety Film ND 5.0” which stops 99.999% of the suns light! It’s now actually out of stock looking so for once in my life I was prepared for something way ahead of time!

The protective film actually comes with some instructions on how to create the filter which was nice as this is the first time we have attempted solar photography! The night before the big event we popped to HobbyCraft to get all the required materials to put together the filter. There where a few hiccups while making the filter I must admit, we did have to MacGyver our lens with ribbon and a sock! While building it I couldn’t help but think it’s to be a perfect ‘Nailed It’ meme but as long as it got the job done I didn’t care how it looked!

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caption:Nailed It!

With the spare film we MacGyver’ed a viewing portal so we could look directly at the Sun.

caption:Hand crafted viewing portal

The Plan

After the filter and portal were created we needed to figure out where the best place to go was. It was pretty much guaranteed Liverpool was going to be covered by cloud and I didn’t want to take the risk. Using the a Met Office tool to see the cloud coverage around the time of the eclipse I knew we needed to go about two hours south. We didn’t know exactly where we were would be going but did know be rushed for time since it was two hours away and had to be there for 8ish! I figured a park would be the perfect place for us. It will have car parking near by and open space so the sun wouldn’t be blocked.

Shrewsberry it was. More specifically Quarry Park in Shrewsberry town centre. Now it’s getting on 2am, it was time to hit the sack since we were up at 6am!

Lets Do This

caption:Too cloudy here!

We set off a little later than intended but eventually arrived in Shrewsberry. After navigating the one ways system we found our car park and immediately took these two photos, I didn’t play with any setting for these, just threw the filter on with auto and clicked to see what we were dealing with.

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Once we arrived at the park we found a little bench to set up that was facing the sun. Perfect little space.

caption:All set up and ready to go!

The Eclipse

It was exciting to watch it happen, in the first few pictures you can see some clouds and the black dot is a sun spot!

Here is a gif, and below is a gallery!

caption:Solar Eclipse 2015 from Shrewsberry

I am by no means a professional photographer so I did have to take many photos on multiple settings to ensure I got some good images, It was quite hard with the sun glaring on the screen. All the photos below where taken with my Nikon D3200, f/5.6 ISO-100 and exposure times are between 1/1000 sec and 1/4000

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We might of looked like a pair of nerds but since the next partial eclipse visible in the UK be until August 12, 2026, and the next total eclipse not until September 2090 I think taking the day off work getting up at 6am and travelling two hours was well worth it!