This year, we’ll get to see a total solar eclipse two times. And we all know what it means: a perfect opportunity to take some splendid photos.
Those of you living in Australians and New Zealand will get to see a rare hybrid total solar eclipse in April. And folks from the United States will have the opportunity to see the annular or “ring of fire” eclipse in October 2023. Let’s go through some details, so you can get prepared and take some great shots of the celestial show.
[Related reading: How Joshua Cripps shot his “ring of fire” solar eclipse in a desert]
Total solar eclipse in April 2023
On April 20, 2023, Australians and New Zealanders are in for a rare treat: a hybrid solar eclipse. During this type of eclipse, “the Earth’s curvature brings some sections of the eclipse path into the Moon’s umbra, the darkest part of its shadow that creates total solar eclipses,” as explained on Time and Date. “Other areas remain outside the umbra’s reach, causing an annular eclipse.”
The path of totality will pass over the North West Cape, a remote peninsula of Western Australia. Regions that will see at least a partial eclipse include South-East Asia, Australia, the Pacific, the Indian Ocean, and Antarctica.
The total eclipse will begin to be visible at the first location at 02:37:08 UTC time, it will reach its peak at 04:16:53 UTC, and it will end at 05:56:43 UTC. You can see the totality’s path on this map and search for your location to check how much of the eclipse you’ll see.
Annular or “ring of fire” solar eclipse in October 2023
On October 14, 2023, the annular solar eclipse will be visible from the U.S. The same phenomenon was observable in India, Singapore, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and some parts of Australia in 2019. And now it’s the Americas’ turn.
With this eclipse, the Sun forms a “ring of fire” around the Moon. The annularity will be visible along a narrow path that crosses the US from Oregon to Texas. It will then pass over Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula and parts of Central America, Colombia, and Brazil. Those of you based in other parts of the Americas, from Alaska to Argentina, will get the consolation prize: a partial eclipse.
The full eclipse will begin at 16:10:11 UTC time at the first location, reach the annularity at 17:59:32 UTC, and end at 19:49:01 UTC. Here you can check if you’ll get to see it at your location.
Observing and photographing the solar eclipse
When shooting and watching the solar eclipse, make sure to keep your eyes and your camera safe. Don’t look directly at the sun without the special glasses, or even point your camera at it without a filter. I’m sure you don’t want to fry your eyes or your sensor. You’ll find plenty of useful safety tips here.
As far as the shooting goes, make sure to prepare your tripod and a remote shutter. Set everything up in advance so you don’t miss the big moment, and take test shots so you’re ready for the totality. You’ll find a quick checklist here.
Stay safe, be creative, and enjoy the eclipse for us in Europe, who won’t get to see it. :)