2021 – Anyone else get up at 5am today to see the eclipse?

                                             (ignore April 30, 2017 publish date – this was published on June 10, 2021)


I’m pretty groggy when I get up at 7:30, so 5am? Oy!

I was almost hoping that it would be real cloudy so I could go back to bed. On top of that, I’m still without my apartment’s roof access, so I have to hope that I can see the sunrise from two possible windows – one of which isn’t openable because of a window A/C.

When I saw where first light was, I realized that I’d have to shoot through glass with both windows.

I set up a tripod on a radiator below the north window and took the first 7 shots – a sequence that turned out rather nice, thanks to some thin clouds:


As the sun rose diagonally, a chimney started to get in the way:


I had to move to the other window. From THAT angle, the sun had to clear the tower of the old Sears building in Hackensack:


I had already been shooting at the fastest shutter speed and the smallest aperture available to me, but the sun was now way too strong to shoot. Of course, I never think about buying any densely-colored eclipse glass to shoot through beforehand, so I started scouring my apartment for ANYTHING that might work.

I remembered my old darkroom print scale and contrast filters. Maybe if I use the 3 darkest filters, that might help:


AND, maybe if I tried to shoot through the darkest black pizza slice on the print scale – a pretty small slice – THAT might work (as the clouds rolled in):


The cloud situation was getting insurmountable, so I tried the 3 filters one last time (the moon was about to exit the sun):


Finally, I combined the 3 filters AND the black slice to get my final shot of the event:


As I write this, it’s 3 hours later and the sky is completely overcast, so I’m fortunate that the conditions at sunrise were photo-friendly.

Arising before sunrise was worth it.


All photos are ©Bob Leafe.





  1. Terri Keck June 10, 2021

    Fantastic photos!

  2. Annemarie June 10, 2021

    Really good shots!

  3. E June 12, 2021

    Beautiful shots Bob, thanks. I didn’t think you could see it from here.

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