Photographers Capture Spectacular ‘Ring of Fire’ Eclipse

Annular eclipse
Left to right: Mike Newbry, Eric Smith, Satoru Murata.

Photographers were out in force across the United States this past weekend to capture a rare phenomenon known as an annular solar eclipse which momentarily created a “ring of fire” in the sky.

Ring of fire stages
Barry Butler posted this series of images showing the Moon moving in front of the Sun.

Barry Butler, who is more usually found photographing Chicago, traveled to Oregon with his son to capture a series of photos that beautifully show how the eclipse evolved.

Annular eclipse
The eclipse moments before the ring is revealed over the skies of Oregon. | Barry Butler
Annular eclipse
Barry Butler

Meanwhile, a PetaPixel reader got a “one in a million” eclipse shot when an airplane flew threw his frame as the eclipse was underway.

Airplane flies in front of the eclipse
The photographer couldn’t believe his luck. | Mike Newbry

“I’ve tried for years to get the perfect shot of a jet flying in front of the Moon or the Sun. I never dreamed that the first time I’d get a decent shot it would be in front of both the Sun AND the Moon,” says Mike Newbry who used a Nikon P1000 to captured the coveted shot.

Photographer Eric Smith says that he prepped for the annular solar eclipse for six months and drove out to Sandia Crest in New Mexico which is 10,000 feet above sea level to record the rare celestial happening.

Annular eclipse
“Windy, freezing cold and still incredibly dramatic and rewarding, this eclipse lived up to the hype,” writes Smith on his Instagram page.

Photographer Satoru Murata says he “screwed up the framing a bit” on his stunning composite consisting of 19 images showing the Sun passing behind Castle Butte in the Valley of the Gods in Utah.

Annular eclipse composite
The photographer paradigm of always searching for perfection led Murata to criticize his amazing composite image. He used a Fuji GFX50s with a Mamiya-Sekor Shift C 50mm lens attached.

“Namely, [I] pointed too low and so missed the last two images at the upper right. Also, the Sun went behind the tower for much of the totality,” he says on his Instagram page.

“However, the silver lining is that I was able to use the shot taken while the Sun was behind the tower for the sky background; all my other skies had tons of flare from the bright sun, so it kinda worked out.”

iPhone shot of the annular eclipse
Shot on the iPhone 14 Pro Max. | George Michael Polillo.

PetaPixel reader George Michael Polillo shot this image with an iPhone 14 Pro Max using the 15x digital zoom while recording short 4K 30 frames per second video clips. The eclipse is framed within the “notoriously prevalent” lens flair on the iPhone; he calls it a “very surprising and cool result.”

“I don’t know why the eclipse was carried so precisely in the flare,” he says. “[It’s] not the James Webb, but now I may have a pocket solar telescope when the next annular solar eclipse passes over this area in 375 years!”

Cory Mottice

The clouds cleared in Corpus Christi, Texas just in time for Coty Mottice to capture this sequence showing the Moon’s transit which the photographer is selling as a print.

Annular solar eclipse
Photographer Jeff Beck captured an incredible sequence showing the Sun in glorious color as it’s obscured by the Moon. | Jeff Beck.
Annular solar eclipse
Jeff Beck
Annular solar eclipse
Jeff Beck

Dan Danbom was in the Monterey Peninsula, California where there was only a partial eclipse and no ring of fire; it was also cloudy but he still made do and got an interesting image with a Canon 100-400mm L lens mounted to a Canon 7D II.

Partial eclipse
Daniel Danbom.

Last but by no means least, celebrated backyard astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy was of course shooting the rare ring of fire event.

Annular eclipse
Andrew McCarthy.

McCarthy used five different telescopes to shoot the rare event and while the above picture is not his final image, this is what he got out of his eight-inch telescope with a white light filter.

Update 19/16: Photographer credits updated.