2024 – My Last Solar Eclipse (unless I live to be 97) 4-8-24

………………………………………………..(ignore April 30, 2017 publish date – this was published on April 12, 2024)


I could make this short and say that this is what it was all about……………

……….but you know that’s not my style.


I managed to get some eclipse glasses and initially tried to take pictures with them over my pocket Canon camera lens, but since I had to zoom in to get an image with any kind of size, it was almost impossible to combine the two and find the sun………..needle-in-a-haystack time.

I managed to find it twice, but one was out of focus, so I got ONE fully-protected image of the red sun and the black moon during a 10-minute period. At that rate, I’d probably wind up 6 or 7 small, crappy images.

The only thing my small, red-sun image was good for was combining it with the glasses that got me that image, so here’s my one NASA (or whoever)-approved red sun shot and the glasses that let me take that literal shot-in-the-dark pic:


And the reason I bought these particular glasses was that they were one of the few that had the event and especially the date on them:

A lot of people were still selling leftover glasses with a 2017 eclipse date on them.

But even those might be a step up – style-wise – from the only other alternative…………welder’s goggles:

So much for my NASA (or whoever)-approved eclipse photography.


I’ve seen 90 million NASA (or whoever) images of various stages of the moon crossing the red sun, but I want images of what I’m actually seeing and what most of the rest of the eastern US is seeing – and it’s not a red sun.

Of course, doing that could be a recipe for blindness or some other vision problems, but I came across another type of filter – one that I had actually been dreading.

But before I get into that, I should mention that I have a brother in San Antonio, TX and his son (my nephew) in Buffalo, NY – both in the path of totality. I was envious of both of them since I was outside of that path in NJ, where we would get maybe 90% totality.

My nephew made a VERY generous offer to me: come stay with him and his wife and enjoy totality. The problem was that it would involve two 9-hour bus rides and I reluctantly declined.


Two days before the event, the cloud forecast was looking good for NJ, but not so much for the path of totality:

I was starting to feel good about my decision to stay home.


On the 7th – the day before the eclipse – I decided I wanted something else to be in my pictures – something that would identify where I was when I took them. I have lots of lightning pix, but my favorite is one in which the Empire State Building is visible.

I have nothing as iconic as the ESB near me, but there IS one gorgeous, tall building right on my block: the First Presbyterian Church of Hackensack and its highly-photogenic steeple.

From my apartment, the sun would be too high to include both in a photo, so I’d have to get lower and closer to the church, so I went out to do a little reconnaissance at two specific times: 2:10pm (when the eclipse would start the next day) and 3:25pm (when the eclipse would be at its fullest).

I tried the back of the church – the only side where sun and steeple would be close – but it’s only the width of a driveway. That cut off a lot of steeple, so I would have to back up.

I took this shot at 3:29pm from the municipal parking lot behind my building, but the angle was off and I needed to be on the other side of that fence and garage you see at the bottom – right where two houses are that share a driveway:


I’ve never met either of the owners, but went right up to the house nearest my building and rang the bell. The man seemed sympathetic, but told me he was having a lot of family over the next day and his part of the driveway would be filled with cars. “Try next door.”

I did and met a gentleman who was agreeable to my coming over the next afternoon and shooting the eclipse, possibly from 2:10pm to 4:30pm.


So, I looked out my window the next morning and saw a fairly clear blue sky……….perfect!


Reports along the totality pathway were still kind of shaky, so I was hoping that the skies would clear up in San Antonio and Buffalo.

By 2pm, things had changed here………….for the worse. Clouds had rolled in and my shoot’s chances for success were dwindling.


With the glasses (and a bad angle), I could see from home that the moon had started to cross the sun, so there was hope.

I gathered my camera, phone, tripod and folding chair and headed two doors down, where I met the gentleman’s wife and her father. I set up the tripod.

I sat in the chair and struggled to get the one red-sun shot you saw earlier, but after that, I was on my feet and doing a dance with my tripod to the beat of the moving clouds to find a quickly-disappearing opening when the sun was visible (or semi-visible).

The clouds were beneficial in that they kept the full-blown sun from blasting my eyes out of their sockets. It felt like “protection”. The sun basically looked like – and was about as bright as – a crescent moon being crossed by the real moon.


As you’ll see, I really only got one shot with most of the steeple in it, but it’s a good one and the most colorful one of the whole shoot. The others were tighter shots with the top of the steeple and its weather vane………….and a bigger crescent.


One shot I DIDN’T get was this one that included the whole steeple AND a plane that seemed to be following the vane’s directions to Newark Airport. The clouds just weren’t cooperating at that moment:


I didn’t get a start-to-finish photo progression – I’ll leave that to NASA (and whoever) – but I did get a few steeple/vane shots that locals may recognize as being Hackensack shots…………..and that was my goal all along.


SO………….here are my top 3 shots of the 2024 Solar Eclipse, as essentially seen from home. This is a PANORAMIC stitch, so click it to enlarge:



A very large THANK YOU goes to the Jeanty family for letting me shoot from their property. Without their friendly cooperation, I probably would have gotten much worse images………….if any at all.



By the way…………one shot I didn’t take that I should have was the supposedly jammed driveway of the nearer house, which didn’t have a single extra car in it the entire time.




  1. Geralynn Bobay April 13, 2024

    You do have nice nephews!

  2. Bob Leafe April 18, 2024

    (says the mother of one of them………)

  3. Jean Jeanty April 27, 2024

    It was our honor to help you get those incredible shots! You are really talented!

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