Total Solar Eclipse

August 21, 2017
Kuttawa, KY
Top image:
Canon 7D Mark II
Tokina 400mm F/5.6
ISO 200
Bottom image:
Canon 30D
Tokina 11-16mm
0.3 seconds
ISO 200

On August 21ST, 2017 the Moon moved in front of the Sun and created a total solar eclipse visible from a arcing swath across the United States. Steve and I were prepared to travel anywhere between Idaho and South Carolina. The days prior to the eclipse we watched the weather and made our decision to head for Kentucky. After 9 hours of driving time we arrived in Kuttawa, KY. Having secured a hotel room, we planned our setup and schedule for the following day. The morning of the eclipse we setup the laptops, tripods, cameras, binoculars and double checked the solar filters on all of them twice. Having witnessed several partial eclipses in the past, the event began with little fanfare. As totality neared and the surroundings began to take on the visibility of near dusk, the noises from the birds and the bugs faded to silence. It was an eerie feeling, 1:20 in the afternoon and all of a sudden it gets dark. Not night time dark but dark like 45 minutes after the Sun goes down. Complete silence for a bit then the Crickets started chirping and the Lightning Bugs started flashing. It was and still is an indescribable experience. 2 minutes and 10ish seconds later, it was over, the Sun broke through the other side of the Moon, the Crickets stopped and the Lightning Bugs went dark. Then began the slow brightening of the surroundings. If you have ever watched a Sunrise (if you haven't you should, it too is an inspiring moment also.) it was very similar just a bit faster. After some time the birds and daytime bugs started back up with their usual noises and we were back to a normal afternoon within 15 minutes or so. Any total eclipse in the future that I have the chance to see, I will. We packed up and headed home. It took 27 hours of driving time to get home. Along the way we encountered gas stations closed with no gas available, convenience stores with the shelves almost stripped clean and going 5mph for hours at a time. I'd do it again without question.


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Updated: 2019.11.15