Hillbilly Eclipse Photography DIY

“Thank God for Hillbillies!” my housemate kept saying as three of us stood in the front yard taking turns viewing the eclipse through the lid of a coffee can.  As a kid, his unkempt neighbor showed him how to cut both ends off a coffee can so you can watch an eclipse through the plastic lid.  The lid blocked out most of the light, leaving just an orange outline of the crescent-shaped sun.  I’m not sure you should look through it a long time, but a quick look to track the progress of the eclipse seemed ok.  When the roomies got tired of the heat (it’s already 90° here in inland NorCal), I tried using the lid as a filter for my camera and here are the results:

Then my boyfriend remembered that we have a visible-light-blocking filter for one of my research cameras, so we outfitted the regular camera (a Cannon G9) with that and took this before it got so hazy that the light was scattering too much:


I tried, and failed, to get a pinhole camera working.  I’m not sure if this is an actual pinhole image of the eclipse, but I think it is:

All the while I was trying to get the pinhole camera working, it turns out the trees were projecting the eclipse all over the front of the house behind me through the tiny gaps between the leaves:

Do you have any home-made camera equipment?

About micheletobias

I lead two lives - one as an artist and the other as a scientist. More and more I'm finding my two worlds colliding, and it's not the disaster you might expect. View all posts by micheletobias

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