Post Eclipse breakdown – Quickest DIY Pinhole Camera ever

Yesterday’s post had me discuss the partial Solar Eclipse that occurred around sunset for most of North America.  The one thing I neglected to mention was regarding safe viewing of it.

In reality if you saw the sun with your bare eyes during a partial eclipse, it looks like the sun any other time of day – its bright. Don’t damage your eyes.

I found a bit of time in the afternoon to build a pinhole camera, which basically consists of a tube or box with a pinhole in one end and a film or ‘viewing area’ at the other end.  Here is a good breakdown of how one works and how to build it.  Mine was not this nice.  I used a box for the chamber, and taped a paper plate onto the open side of the box.  I punched a small hole on the plate using scissors, and cut a small hole in the box so I could view the image.  Total time ~ 3 mins.

The pinhole camera worked, but the image was far too small as the box wasn’t big enough to give a good focal length.

2014-10-23 18.19.28
The tiny orange sun being eclipsed

See that tiny orange dot? Yup that’s the Sun.  I could still see the eclipse happen, but man did I have to focus…live and learn.

On the plus side, I met another person viewing the eclipse from on high where I was, and her camera was ale to catch the eclipse using this weird property where you see multiple images of the sun with decreasing brightness through the lens.  I think its due to multiple reflections within the camera optics.

This is not a direct image of the sun, but it actually a crop of the reflection effect.  The actual Sun was much closer to the horizon.  Cool Technique, here’s what it looked like from my perspective:

2014-10-23 18.17.08

So all in all it was a pretty decent experience for like 15 minutes.  I learned how to NOT make a pinhole camera.  I learned that I should buy a real camera.  And I learned that I should make more time to prepare for the August 2017 eclipse – maybe a day or two….

2 thoughts on “Post Eclipse breakdown – Quickest DIY Pinhole Camera ever

    1. Definitely! If you ever want to share other photos for use in articles let me know. Glad to help promote your images.

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