It was magical. Totality may have only lasted two minutes, but Lauren and I agreed — it was one of the most exciting, unique and interesting things we’ve ever seen.
Seeing the eclipse at 99% was marvelous. Witnessing it at 100% was unfathomable. Humans caught in the path of these things before the advent of science must have lost their damned minds. It is a hair-raising, end of days sort of spectacle.
Feeling the temperature drop and the air grow still about 15 minutes before totality.
Playing with shadows when the eclipse was building. If you held up your hand to the sun, every finger on the ground would be comprised of countless crescents, for example.
The thrill of being in a crowd when the big moment arrived and the cheer that rose up – spine tingling, palpable excitement.
The sudden appearance of nearby mountain peaks, hidden by wildfire smoke during the day, popping into sight like spectres in the mist during totality. It was downright eerie.
The absolute black of the moon. It was a perfect void in a dusky sky.
The same can be said about the return of the sun, two minutes later — that first diamond burst of sunlight around the moon was the most brilliant white I’ve ever seen.
Photography During Totality
From a photography perspective, I put all my eggs in one basket: lone camera, mounted fixed on a tripod with a prime, manual lens and a bulb shutter cable. The conditions changed so rapidly and there was so much to see! If I had to do it all over again, I would have kept my camera in-hand with a more versatile lens attached. But I am still pleased. I kept my self-made promise to only take four photos during the peak, and it was tons of fun.
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