Annular Solar eclipse in Montreal

There was quite a crowd gathered at the Kondiaronk Belvédère on Mount Royal this morning to view the rare hybrid solar eclipse that occured at sunrise and (for Montreal) lasted until around 7.10AM – a duration of about 30 minutes.

A hybrid eclipse refers to when an eclipse shifts between a total and annular eclipse. At certain points on the surface of Earth it appears as a total eclipse, whereas at other points it appears as annular. Today the total eclipse was viewable from the mid-Atlantic and parts of Africa, while the annular eclipse occured on the East coast of North America, Southern Europe and northern parts of South America.

I wondered how rare a Hybrid solar eclipse actually was and discovered that out of the approximately 12,000 solar eclipses that have been recorded since 1999 BC, less than five percent have been hybrid eclipses (about 600) – so a pretty rare event.

I managed not to sleep through the alarm and arrived on Mount Royal just after 6AM. I had considered viewing the eclipse from the escarpment path but realized the location I had in mind would not give a good line of sight. So instead I joined the crowd at the Kondiaronk lookout.

Crowds gather for partial solar eclipse

Crowds gather for partial solar eclipse
ISO 200 – 14mm – f11 – 1/25 sec


This was my first attempt at photographing an eclipse of any kind so it was a bit trial and error.

I began by focussing on the distant horizon and then screwed on the B+W 110 ND 3.0 filter and then waited for the sun to show up.

Since the eclipse was occuring at sunrise, it was a great opportunity to photograph the eclipse with some foreground objects. I decided to shoot from near the chalet (rather than at the edge of the lookout) and try and get a couple of buildings and people watching the solar event. This proved more difficult than I had thought it would be since to get the sun at a reasonable exposure the rest of the shot was completely black. I knew I would have to layer 1 or more images to get a reasonable result, but I didn’t manage to nail a good exposure for the foreground subjects and the final result was a lot darker than I planned for – so I opted more for a silhouette look 😉

Partial solar eclipse in Montréal

Partial solar eclipse in Montréal
ISO 200 – 260mm – f8 – 1/200 sec and 0.4 sec


The next shot has the sun totally blown out and therefore you can’t see the silhouette of the moon, but I liked the light and I thought it worked well in monochrome.


Crowds gather to watch the Partial solar eclipse in Montréal

Crowds gather to watch the Partial solar eclipse in Montréal
ISO 200 – 100mm – f13 – 1/4 sec


Deciding to concentrate more on trying to just get a good shot of the eclipse I set the zoom to 300mm and keeping the ISO at 200, I found that between 1/2000 and 1/8000 sec at f11 and f13 worked pretty well.

Unfortunately, despite a pretty clear sky, about half way through the eclipse event the sun passed through a bank of cloud…made for some interesting shots nevertheless.


Partial solar eclipse in Montréal

Partial solar eclipse in Montréal
ISO 200 – 300mm – f11 – 1/2000 sec


However, once the clouds passed I did get a few nice clear shots. They all look pretty much alike, so I’ll spare you and just show 1…

Partial solar eclipse in Montréal

Partial solar eclipse in Montréal
ISO 200 – 300mm – f13 – 1/8000 sec


Did anyone else get to see today’s eclipse?

I’ve marked the calendar for April 8 2024 when Eastern Canada will get to view a total eclipse 😉

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.

– Martin

Montréal in Pictures

Your virtual guide in and around Montréal


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  1. Nicolas November 6, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

    Wonderful! Thanks for sharing.

    • Montreal in Pictures November 8, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

      My pleasure, it was worth the early rise on a Sunday 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.