The Attempt at Taking a Photo of the Solar Eclipse Using a Cellphone Camera

11:35 pm PHT

Unless you were quite oblivious, a partial solar eclipse happened last July 22. If you didn’t realize that an eclipse happened, I can’t blame you since a partial solar eclipse is far, far less spectacular than a total solar eclipse. The sun is far too bright that the moon obscuring only part of the sun’s disc will have no visible effect on the daylight. So, it’s quite easy to miss the fact that there was an eclipse unless you were clued in before.

Anyway, since my work usually starts at 10 a.m., I fortunately had half an hour before I entered the office last July 22 to casually view the maximum of the solar eclipse (which was at around 9:45). Even more lucky, the day was quite bright and shiny with some clouds so my observation was not in vain.  :-)

I had no concrete plan in my solar eclipse observation except to try viewing the eclipse using the pinhole technique. And since the last eclipse I ever saw was way back in 1988, I wanted to try taking photos for posterity—even if I had just a cellphone camera. (Sadly, I didn’t have a higher-grade camera with me.)

So, I tried taking a picture of the sun itself (see the photo above). Even with the clouds, the glare from the sun was too bright and so the moon can’t be seen. Next, I tried the pinhole technique. Well, trying to hold a camera that doesn’t have a macro feature and the cardboard containing three pinholes with two shaky hands make for blurry photos. I’m actually quite amazed that the pictures of the sun’s occluded disc was as clear as it was (see photos below).

 Three pinhole photos of the solar eclipse.

Finally, while browsing through the photos I took, I was surprised to see that a lens aberration had an image of the eclipse as well! Interesting ain’t it?  :-D

 Solar eclipse seen in a lens aberration.

If you want better quality eclipse photos, then I’ll point you to Azrael’s blog post which contains several pictures.

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