The 2024 Solar Eclipse

I don’t know if you heard, but we had a solar eclipse here in the United States in April 2024. If you are in the United States, I do not know how you could NOT have heard about it, because it was everywhere, especially if you were within a hundred miles or so of the path of totality as we were.

I had resolved not to try to take any photos of the eclipse, knowing that they would look very similar to the photos from the 2017 eclipse (spoiler alert - it looked just about exactly the same, except the sun was slightly more covered)

Instead, I had the idea to take a series of photos of how dark it got during the eclipse. My plan was almost foiled by clouds. But just like in 2017, the clouds parted just after the eclipse started, and you can see that in the photos. And it did get rather dark when the eclipse was at its peak, which they say was around 98% coverage here in our area.

Instead of just sharing a lot of photos here, I put them into a time-lapse video, complete with a bit of original music that I wrote several years ago for something or other. Check it out:

(If you can’t see the video, use this link)

Read more about the photos that I used for the video in the appropriately named “About the Photos” section farther on down.

Bonus Photo

As I mentioned, I had not planned to take a photo of the sun during the eclipse. I did not have enough filters this time around, and I did not want to take a chance damaging my camera. However, after the eclipse peak, the clouds came back and covered the sun, making a natural filter. So I waited until the clouds were thick enough that you could just barely see the sun, and here is what I saw:

The moon partially blocks the sun near the end of the 2024 solar eclipse

The sun had emerged from behind the moon fairly well by this point, but I still thought it was an interesting photo. You do not see something like that every day, after all.

Amazing

Yes, another chance to talk about God’s amazing creation. Because it is. How could something like the moon blocking out the sun be anything besides amazing?

And what makes it even more amazing is that it happens like clockwork. This eclipse did not come as a surprise to anyone, because the patterns that God set in motion when he created the world are constant and true. Something like this did not happen at a random, unexpected time. It all happened according to God’s schedule, which men have been given the ability to figure out and say when such things are going to happen. Amazing!

And because God has created such amazing things as solar eclipses, not to mention all of the other cool stuff in the world, we love him for it. And to properly show our love for him, we love each other. Not just our family and our close friends, but everyone.

And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” - Mark 12:28-31

Love One Another

About the Photos

For the photos in the video, I had the camera on a tripod, except that you can see that it moved ever so slightly between photos at times. That was because I did take the camera off the tripod a time or two.

The bigger issue was keeping the camera from adjusting for the lower light levels. I often shoot in aperture priority mode, which means that I set the aperture and then the camera adjusts the shutter speed to try to let in enough light. If I had used this setting, the darkness would not have been as evident. Instead, I switched to manual mode. I took one photo to use for “base settings”. I then left the aperture and shutter speed at those settings for all of the photos. That way, the camera did not try to make things look brighter as it got darker.

I did switch back to aperture priority for the photo of the sun, however.

Photo: Each photo is a single JPG exposure, processed in Raw Therapee and GIMP.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens
Date: April 8, 2024
Location: Williston, Tennessee


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About Burnsland
Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.