To create these images I shot with a Nikon D800 and a Nikkor 70-200mm F/2.8G VRII lens. I had a Singh-Ray Vari-ND filter attached to the front of the 70-200. The Vari-ND is a variable neutral density filter that allows me to stop the light down anywhere from 2 to 8 stops of light. For these images I had the Vari-ND set to block the maximum amount of light, i.e. 8-stops. Hence, that is why the surrounding sky is pure black. They make for a very graphic image, though I suppose if I wanted to I could have created these in photoshop.
As the sun descended, it neared the horizon and turned orange, since the eclipse happened near sunset. In the last few shots of these composites, if I zoom into the images I can see sunspots on the sun. At no point during the eclipse could you look at the sun with the naked eye, or even wearing dark sunglasses, and not injure your retina. Hence, it was only by looking through a filter that was basically pitch black that I could get these images.