A few years ago I experienced an annular eclipse in Redding, CA (link). This was really spectacular and it was the first solar eclipse I had ever seen. Today’s partial solar eclipse was not that high up on the scale but I didn’t want to miss it. It was a bit foggy here in San Francisco, but eventually the sun burned most of the fog layer off so we could see the eclipse.
The dark spot in the middle of the sun is a sunspot called Active Region 2192. Phil Plait has plenty to say about it.
My original idea was to have the eclipse around Coit Tower. But since the sun was still very high in the sky during the middle of the afternoon, it didn’t work out. So the next best thing was the Transamerica Pyramid.
To capture the bright sun I used a solar filter in front of my lens. It lets 1/1,000th of 1% of the light through (~17 stops) and has a slight yellow-orange color cast which works well for the sun. With such a strong filter, everything but the sun is more or less dark. That’s why the Transamerica Pyramid in the above image is all dark although the picture was taken in the middle of the day.
The next image is a composite. I took the first image while the sun was behind the Transamerica Tower and without the solar filter and the second image when the sun was in full view again. Then I merged the two different exposures together.
All images were taken with a Nikon D800, a 70-200mm lens, a 2x teleconverter and a solar filter. The first image is cropped to show more details
Prints and Licensing: All images are available as fine art prints and for licensing. Please contact me for more details.