Exhilarated, excited, frustrated, anxious are just some of the feelings I had the morning of August 21, 2017. It’s now August 23, 2017, and I have all my eclipse images edited and blog ready.
Let’s deal with the frustrated and anxious feelings of that morning. Initially, I was going to use Richard’s small telescope attached to my D3100. We didn’t really get a chance to practice during our stay at Glacier National Park because of smokey skies. I read tutorials on shooting the eclipse, but none were on using a telescope as a lens. I was anxious about that telescope: how do I change the aperture, and what about the proper exposure?
When we went to visit the NASA folks, I saw a guy using a coffee can on a 70 – 300 mm lens attached to a Nikon D3100. He seemed confident that it would work well. I told Richard about it and he fashioned a filter using material from pair of solar glasses and attaching it to the lens hood. It worked great. Now I could use my D7100.
Back to the tutorials! I did get frustrated because they seemed to contradict each other. The worst of all, I really couldn’t work with the tripod. I couldn’t find the sun in live view, and I couldn’t see the live view screen. I saw my reflection. I tried using a loop, but that made it more difficult.
So, I decided to handhold. I knew the risks, but I wanted to enjoy the eclipse. I decided to use my D3100 to capture the crowd during intervals of shooting the eclipse. Actually, it worked out, except for the totality. I did get one good shot of it though.
Exhilaration and excitement came rapidly when the eclipse began. The crowd roared as the sun began to slip behind the moon. There were shouts of joy during each phase, especially during totality. Here are my images from the eclipse: before totality, environmental shots, totality, and after totality.
The front row of RVs and cars were added the night before.
Everyone was getting ready.
Richard was manning his sun scope.
Here’s a side view.
A former science teacher brought this homemade scope she used in her classroom.
The eclipse begins.
The sun actually moved rapidly.
It carved out slices.
Each slice making the sun less visible.
I would catch the sun by first looking with my eclipse glasses.
Then I would move my protected lens so I couldn’t see the sun any longer.
Then I would move my glasses up out of the way.
I would then be able to shoot the sun as it moved behind the moon.
It became a sliver of it’s former self.
And down to this before totality.
This was the best I could get during totality. I knew it would be difficult without a tripod because of diminished light.
Right after totality, people started leaving.
I couldn’t believe they weren’t waiting for the second half of the show!
Coming out of totality.
Forming a crescent again.
And more large.
Almost a full sun again.
Right now we are two days from home, and I’m ready to get there. We’ve decided not to do anymore road trips. It’s destination trips from now on. I would say this trip was a great one to end on. From beautiful Glacier National Park to the amazing total solar eclipse. And a big thank you to the small town of Weiser, Idaho. They did a great job with the amount of people added to their community. Oh, I have just one more feeling to add: wonderful!