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Ceropegia
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Eclipse - No photo here

Post by Ceropegia » Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:47 am

Decided at the last minute to drive the couple of hours into Tennessee to take in the total eclipse. Saturday I waited in line in 94 degree heat in the blazing sun for four hours to buy a pair of glasses. Sunday, I studied the map of the eclipse path through Tennessee, finally settling on a little town in the central part of the state that I could get to in about two hours and avoid going through Chattanooga. Couldn't sleep in anticipation, left before dawn worried the traffic would be so bad I wouldn't be able to get to my destination, got very lost for about an hour but had a lovely scenic drive curving around through the mountains, finally found my way, and arrived at my destination with many hours to spare.

The moment when that last sliver of sun pops behind the moon, the viewing glasses go black, and you drop them to see the total eclipse, is absolutely magical. The time in total eclipse at my location was two minutes 22 seconds, more than enough time to get off a shot or two. But after briefly trying to find the sun in the viewfinder, I gave up because I had made up my mind in advance that I wouldn't spend much time fooling with it. The viewing time was just too short and I really just wanted to spend it taking in the spectacle. As it was, when the sun finally slipped out from behind the moon again, a certain sadness came over me, the time was not long enough. On the drive home I realized why I could not find the sun. In my complete excitement and wonderment, stupid me, I'm sure I must have simply forgotten to take the lens cap off. Even in the darkness, the problem should have been obvious, but I was so enthralled with the moment that I just was not thinking straight. Naturally, I am kicking myself, but the image is so burned into my mind - I do not need a photo. And in retrospect, It could never had done it justice. If I manage to live another seven years, I will plan well ahead and need to travel a little farther, but having a chance to see it all again before I die will be worth it. And who knows, maybe I'll remember to take off the lens cap.

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minniev
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Post by minniev » Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:43 am

Sounds like you had a wonderful experience, and I totally understand. I admire your dedication in making a plan and executing it. You have an experience so one can take from you.

No photo here either! I took the grandkids (7 & 5) to a community event at the state science museum - and left my camera behind. I knew I could not keep up with them, make sure they used the glasses properly, and have any kind of viewing myself if I was fiddling with the camera. So instead of pictures, I had the Experience, making memories with the boys. They got to make pinhole viewers, act out the roles of suns, moons and planets, talk to meteorologists and NASA folk, use eclipse glasses mounted inside dinosaur masks, get eclipses painted on their faces and other fun stuff. Sometimes we need the experience more than the pictures, and then we just make the pictures with our eyes. I have enjoyed viewing the photos others took, and NASA did a much better job than I could have. It was a magical kind of day.

Like you, I want another venue the next time around, if I make it till then!
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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Charles Haacker
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Post by Charles Haacker » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:15 pm

Both Martha's and Minnie's experiences are just absolutely great! Sometimes it is just the having-of-the-experience that matters. (Y)
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Post by LindaShorey » Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:12 pm

I loved both Martha's and Minnie's stories! With tv coverage, internet, and every other person with a camera taking a photo, why do we need to do it too? Being in the moment is so much more important. Now, having said that, I do have one other eclipse "under my belt," and it was much darker than Yakima's experience yesterday: Maryland in May 1994. And yesterday I turned on the tv and got a bit of chill thrill watching it turn very dark in Oregon from the ABC tv coverage.

On a much smaller scale, and not having to wait seven years or more between events, I learned my first summer of attempting to photograph eagles with a bridge camera: if they are flying past, pull the camera off your face and just enjoy the show! The frustrations of zooming too close and losing in the frame, or pulling back too far or not getting in focus while that majestic bird soars by or dives for a fish...turned out to be a no-brainer (and having said that, this year I was able to grab a flight shot with the Olympus EM10 :D
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Post by Duck » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:46 pm

You are fortunate to have been so close to the path of totality. Here in Connecticut it wasn't so good. Between heavily overcast skies and a more Northern view I didn't even bother. It would have just been too much of a let down. I'll live vicariously through other's photos.
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Post by St3v3M » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:54 am

Ceropegia wrote:Decided at the last minute to drive the couple of hours into Tennessee to take in the total eclipse. ....

Your story made me laugh as I've been there done that, forgetting to change settings, etc. and appreciate it's not just me.

I'm happy though that you found peace in the moment, and wonder if you would have felt the AWE of it all if you had found the Sun.

Sometimes I think it's better to just take in the moment and enjoy all the splendor Nature has to offer!
- Besides, you didn't want to do this How to MELT your camera shooting the eclipse!

Mine is a different story, one with less emotion, but I was blessed to see it all the same. Thank you so much for adding this! S-
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

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