We’ve partnered with our friends at global photography site Feature Shoot to spotlight some of the most compelling images in our Offset collection. This week, we view the rare beauty of an annular solar eclipse.

When Tokyo-based nature photographer Martin Bailey first learned of the May 21 annular solar eclipse in 2012, he knew he had to capture it through his 600mm lens. Using a 2X extender to achieve an increased focal length of 1200mm, Bailey documented the sun and moon as they passed through their ephemeral stages within a time span of approximately five minutes.

Annular Eclipse of the Sun by Martin Bailey
Annular Eclipse of the Sun by Martin Bailey

An annular eclipse results from the moon’s passage between our planet and the sun. Because the moon is in the New Moon phase — meaning that the sun is illuminating only the surface that faces away from Earth — it appears as a black orb that obscures the rays of the sun. And because it’s not a total eclipse, the moon in an annular eclipse will appear smaller than the sun, leaving a single luminous ring around its circumference, called the annulus. Depending on where in the globe we stand, these eclipses may be anywhere from extremely obvious to invisible.

Annular Eclipse of the Sun by Martin Bailey
Annular Eclipse of the Sun by Martin Bailey

The May 2012 annular eclipse could be seen throughout the majority of the Asian continent, and Bailey observed it from the balcony of his own apartment in Japan. His focus, he explains, was less on the scientific aspects of the event and more on the elusive beauty of the rare happening. The next annular eclipse will not appear over Tokyo for more than a century.

Annular Eclipse of the Sun by Martin Bailey
Annular Eclipse of the Sun by Martin Bailey

Scroll on to view more of Martin Bailey’s annual-eclipse images from the Offset collection.

Annular Eclipse of the Sun by Martin Bailey
Annular Eclipse of the Sun by Martin Bailey
Annular Eclipse of the Sun by Martin Bailey
Annular Eclipse of the Sun by Martin Bailey
Annular Eclipse of the Sun by Martin Bailey
Annular Eclipse of the Sun by Martin Bailey
Annular Eclipse of the Sun by Martin Bailey
Annular Eclipse of the Sun by Martin Bailey
Annular Eclipse of the Sun by Martin Bailey
Annular Eclipse of the Sun by Martin Bailey
Annular Eclipse of the Sun by Martin Bailey
Annular Eclipse of the Sun by Martin Bailey

Top image: Annual Eclipse of the Sun by Martin Bailey

Offset artists are visual storytellers with a deep passion for their craft. Images in the Offset collection are gathered from world-class and award-winning assignment photographers, illustrators, and agencies, with a focus on unique content with narrative, authentic, and sophisticated qualities.

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