Solar Eclipse in Toronto
Solar Eclipse in Toronto

Solar Eclipse in Toronto

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Today there was a solar eclipse visible in most of North America. While Americans got to witness a total eclipse, up here in Canada we only got a partial one.
A lot of people have been preparing for the event with great anticipation while I had a rather causal attitude towards the whole eclipse watching thing.

Solar Eclipse in Toronto

Then I got the bright idea that perhaps I should try to take pictures of the solar eclipse, except I did not have any glasses appropriate for sun safety or to allow me to filter sunlight enough so that my camera will not saturate and I can actually take a picture of the Sun partially hidden behind the Moon.

So, I have decided to imitate what people used to do before cheap Chinese made protective glasses became widely available, and cover some piece of glass in soot.

Except I did not even have a piece of glass, so I have used an acrylic sheet, and covered it in soot by moving it around in the flame of a candle. Of course the acrylic got warped a bit — the glass must be covered in enough soot that one cannot see through it, otherwise it is pretty much useless for sun protection.

Soot covered plexiglass.

A piece of transparent acrylic sheet (plexiglass) covered in soot from a candle.
I used this as a makeshift safety glass for viewing / photographing the solar eclipse.

It did work, and the makeshift sun glass was suitable to glance at the solar eclipse and get a decent view (I did not dare to stare for any length of time) but photographing though it has turned out to be a challenge.

The camera kept focusing on the surface of the glass, I ended up setting it to manual and focus to infinity.
I could not adjust by sight, even looking at the direction of the sun just felt too bright. So it was a bit hit and miss, but I got some shots that are at least recognizable as the sun hiding behind the moon.

Solar Eclipse in Toronto

Well, that is what you can get with no preparation.

Further Readings:

Solar Eclipse on Wikipedia.
Total Eclipse on the NASA website.
Last updated: August 21, 2017

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