Jane and Bob's Annular Eclipse Picture

Photo date: May 10, 1994, Bloomington, IL

Jane Breun, a member of the Madison Astronomical Society, showed this image at a recent meeting. She and her husband had shot it during the annular eclipse of May, 1994 from a city park in Bloomington, IL. They had decided to use a new filter they had recently received from a friend - a piece of glass that had been silvered with an unknown substance. Visually, it did a good job as a solar filter, so they fixed it to their camera, and shot the annular eclipse with it. When their photos came back from the developer, this was the result.

Original image, shot through an optically flawed glass filter. The glass was had a curvature to it, and apparently set up a complex pattern of reflections with the lens used to shoot the eclipse. An unfortunate way to find out that your filter is not appropriate for solar photography.

I approached Jane after the meeting and told her that cleaning up the photo and removing the flaws would be a relatively easy job, and offered to give it a try.

Using Photoshop, I captured the annular ring, and copied it to a new background created by sampling the original and painting the new one without the internal reflections. A second ring was added in a new layer, then blurred to recreate the effect of warmth and brilliance. Both layers were then combined to copy as closely as possible the actual appearance of the annular eclipse.

Same as above but with the addition of a gentle lens flare to lend that (artificial) air of authenticity.

This was an easy job as Photoshop edits and restorations go. The eclipse image was a relatively monochromatic object with well-defined boundaries. Eliminating the internal reflections was a breeze and restoring the image to some approximation of reality was pretty straightforward.

John Rummel, February 8, 2002.

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