Solar Eclipse 2017
I was not going to bother taking photos of the eclipse. I figured there would be a zillion photographers with ginormous telephoto lenses who would get far better shots than I would ever be able to get. But at the last minute, I just couldn't resist, so I drug Jeff out of bed around 3 am and we drove 5 hours...(well I drove and he slept), to about 40 miles east of Jackson, Wyoming. And despite all the hype, there was very little traffic along the way. We parked in a beautiful area of pine trees and wildflowers, along with just a few other eclipse watchers and waited for the big event. The time of totality was indeed an eerie event. The sky turned a weird color and was dark enough to see stars, and the temperature dropped dramatically. In the end, we were both glad we made the effort to witness this event.
P.S. A friend made the following comment on my facebook post of this photo: "What filter did you use? 10 stop ND would probably not be enough to protect your camera." Here is my response:
I went to a class at Pictureline about photographing the eclipse. The instructor said you can buy an expensive filter or you can make one. He suggested buying a special solar optical film sheet and making your own. He showed examples of cutting out the bottom of paper cups that would fit over your lens and taping the film over the resulting hole. He stressed not to tape anything directly onto your lens because there could be the possibility of damaging the lens, but also because you would need to take it off quickly to photograph when the sun is in totality. I looked on line and saw all different ways of constructing DYI filters, all of which seemed too much of a bother. I didn't even know where to purchase that special film. Then a few days ago I was in Pictureline again and they had just received a shipment of squares of that film, specifically for the eclipse. I decided to buy a sheet and the clerk said I was lucky I showed up when I did as they would be sold out that day. When I got home I had the brilliant idea to just tape the film over my lens hood with painter's masking tape that could be removed easily. It was easily done, and I could quickly take the lens hood off and on the camera as needed. Took less than 10 minutes to cut a circle of the film and tape it on. I kept thinking this probably won't work, or else surely someone else would be talking about doing this. Anyway, it worked like a charm! Here is a picture: