Total Eclipse 2024, my second opportunity

March 19, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Genesis 1:1-3

My first opportunity to photograph a total eclipse was in 2017 while we lived in Nashville. Who knew that 7 years later I would be back home in Ohio where I'll have a chance to do it again? Like the previous event, there is a ton of hype about this. I sense that people from this area don't really have a handle on how big this is. In 2017 I was managing a camera store in Nashville and people stopped in to buy what they needed to do this correctly from all over the world, and that is no exaggeration. It's fun to see your hometown become an International melting pot for a week or so! 

There are several uncontrollable variables, making this a bit of a crap shoot. First of all your location, a difference of less than a mile can totally change your experience. Weather: Let's face it, we get a lot of cloudy days in NE Ohio, and if it's cloudy, it's a game changer. But, stay where you are and wait it out, because it changes by the minute. It is awe inspiring to watch it unfold. Listen: All of nature is fooled into thinking it's night time, so listen for night sounds around you. If you are in a huge public location and there are bands and music, don't hang out there, move on to take it all in!

I'm recycling my blog post from 2017 right after the last total eclipse. In it you will find answers to some of the technical questions like what you need to do it safely and efficiently. WARNING: Do not look at this or photograph it without the recommended amount of neutral density as permanent damage can happen to your eyes. This is no joke! It will also destroy your camera sensor with less than 16 stops. A polarizer is only 2 stops to give you an idea of what you need.

I hope you enjoy the blog, it was fun to write and I'm glad I did it. This provides a checklist of what I need to prepare for this one in a few weeks right here in NE Ohio.

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It's a good thing a picture is worth a thousand words. There just aren't enough words to describe what we were able to see this week. Nashville was right in the direct path of the total eclipse. Most of the world was not. Many people planned this trip for years coming from countries all over the world. All the time, planning and expense for a light show that lasted approximately 2 minutes. I was wondering if it was all hype, or would it be some super show. It was a show!

Working in the photo industry, I read a lot about this event weeks before the date it happened. We anticipated that during the eclipse the store would be empty. I was able to get the filters we needed to shoot pictures from Breakthrough Filter Company, they generously offered them to the staff free of charge! The filters were needed for all the pictures except totality. I had my Fuji X Pro 2 set up on a tripod with 16 stops of ND. (The total eclipse images were taken with my Fuji X-T2, the 100-400 and no filtration at all) It is the only time you can take images without a filter, but it only lasts for a few seconds!

I have to admit that the weather was looking uncooperative. The clouds were moving in and out leading up to the moment of "totality." When that happened, it was cloudy initially, but then it opened up for about a minute. That was all I needed to get a few frames. The opening image is called "Diamond Ring" for obvious reasons. This last one is the moment of totality. (Check out the cool sun flares at 3 and 5 o'clock on the sun)

I hope you were able to see and enjoy this event. This was potentially a once in a lifetime event. I am so glad I was able to experience and photograph this incredible display of God's majesty!

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Psalm 19:1


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