Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Solar Eclipse in the Path of Totality

 Well....the long awaited and anticipated 2024 "Great American Eclipse" is here and gone.
In it's wake there are multitudes of photographic records of this amazing event. Here's our story....

Our home here in Clark County was in the "Path of Totality," meaning that the sun would be completely obscured by the moon during the event. I could shoot the same images that you see here from our deck...however, for me, part of the experience is watching others responses and also seeing the event from the landscape aspect. 
I decided to shoot from our nearby Buck Creek State Park, and spent some time earlier this year checking various locations there using the PhotoPills App. This app allowed me to visualize what the placement of the eclipse would be in different areas f the park. I ended up choosing the Buck Creek Marina....a location that ha served us well for many other sky events. I shot the 2017 Partial Eclipse there in the exact same spot that we used yesterday. 
We arrived at the Marina early, anticipating large crowds. The crowds didn't materialize as we thought.....although there were plenty of folks enjoying the astronomical show. As totality was reached, we could hear folks all over the Marina, Beach and even across the lake at the Visitor's Center cheering. 

We were shooting the eclipse with our Olympus gear as well as with the Vaonis Vespera smart scope. You'll be able to see the difference in the totality images. The Vespera tracked the eclipse throughout...shooting an image every 2 seconds. Here's a video clip of a few of the 6,000 images from the Vespera. 

Here's one of only a couple of totality images caught with the Vespera....note: user error. I got too excited and removed the solar filter before disabling the safety and the scope shut down. Oh well, better than nothing!

And the other image. This one shows Bailey's Beads....the effects of the sun's light reflecting off on the moon's craters.

In comparison, here's a totality shot form the OM-1 and 100-400 with solar filter.

As noted, one of our reasons for shooting at the park was the ability to see others enjoying the eclipse.

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