Day 4, August 21
NOTE: To view the pictures full size in full quality, click on each picture to enlarge. They are now linked to the original files. Some are phone pictures, so of course they aren’t top quality anyway! Also, you can scroll through them this way!😁
When my alarm woke me, the first thing I thought was, “Today is the day of the total solar eclipse!” We had been planning and preparing for it for months, and today was the day! We ate a good breakfast and some people left to go pass out tracts in town where the crowds were. James, Jessica, and I went out on the Neelys’ front lawn and James helped us go over the settings and everything we needed to know for photographing the sun and the eclipse. It was so hot!😅 I used our Canon 80D with a 112-480mm lens.
It was hard to imagine that the great big, hot sun up there was going to get covered up in a few hours! Amazing! Do we look hot or what!!??
Here’s the sun as I found it on that fine August day…notice 5 or 6 sunspots.
A cloud in front of the sun
We helped gather up food and got our gear ready. Then we hiked up the road to an area behind the Neelys’ house where we would view the eclipse. Neighbors of the Neelys started arriving and the team that had been out tracting got back. Soon they were grilling and getting the food ready.
James explaining the solar filter.
Mrs. Neely and some others made fancy little plate holders for the eye protectors we had to wear to look at the sun. They cut out two holes for the eye part of the glasses to match up to, and a triangle for your nose to stick out. You just glue the glasses to the plate and you’re good to go! They were pretty creative!
I had my tripod and camera set up with Jessica’s and James’s.
We popped our solar filters on and soon we were ready! I ran back to the house for something and soon I heard someone exclaim, “It’s starting!” Susannah and I ran up the hill as fast as we could and I started getting pictures. It took a long time for the sun to get covered! After the initial excitement was over, people started eating. I got food, but I was so busy monitoring my camera that I really didn’t eat anything until after the eclipse was done!
Notice the plates of food by our tripods!😅
Mom was videoing, too. She also held an umbrella to help keep me from getting burned.
Mom, Jessica, and me
Every few minutes I would snap a picture. James and Jessica were also getting pictures, and Mr. Neely and Jonathan had their drones going.
The more the sun got covered, the cooler it got. And soon the lighting was so strange. It wasn’t like a sunset at all, in that the sun was still over head the whole time, and the shadows and rays were like normal afternoon rays.
Here are a few pictures of the progress…
Are you sure that isn’t just the moon?! Oh, wait! The moon has craters, not sunspots!
As it got closer to the time of totality everyone sort of gathered around the cameras. All of a sudden it got eerily dark and I heard exclamations of, “Wow!!” “Look at that!” “It’s all black!” Soon I heard James say, “Filters off, F/22, and bracket!” I quickly slid off my filter and soon I was snapping away.
TOTALITY!!! If you look carefully, you can see a planet about an inch or so from the sun!
Then I looked up. I had almost forgotten to look at it in person! Wow! What do you say to describe the feeling? There is no sun; just what looks like a black hole in the sky with light surrounding it.
It wasn’t totally dark; there was light along the horizon. And there was a strange glow in the air like I’ve never experienced before!!! Red flame curled away from the sun as solar flares came off of it.This picture is underexposed, but you can see flames coming from the sun!!!
At one point I accidentally did a 30-second exposure and this is what I got!!!😂 Unique you could say? And the planet is a line, now!
All too soon James said, “Filters back on! F/22,” I got my filter back on after a little trouble and I barely got to capture the diamond ring after re-focusing. It was just completely amazing!
It got light again so quickly and the moon moved away again. From there it was just like the beginning of a solar eclipse backwards! 😀 And it got hotter, too. I continued to take pictures until the end, and then I shut off the camera, and went to eat and join a game of Signals in the shade.
I think I felt a little more disappointed than I cared to admit that I didn’t think my diamond ring pictures didn’t come out right. I wouldn’t know for sure until I saw them on computer. I was afraid they were all blurry. I was thankful that they weren’t as bad as I thought in the beginning. I was able to use only one battery for the entire eclipse. I even had wifi on in my camera the whole time, and that drinks battery like nothing else! The reason I had wifi on, was because I had it hooked up to my mom’s iPhone in the Canon app. From her phone I could adjust all my settings and snap each shot from the phone itself, cutting down on tons of camera shake! That was really a blessing. I don’t think that I would have done half as good a job if I hadn’t been able to quickly and smoothly change my settings for bracketing each shot. And I’m really thankful that Mom let me use her expensive equipment; camera, lens, phone, solar filter, and phone! 😊 And I would have never turned out with the pictures that I did, had it not been for James helping Jessica and me know exactly what settings we should bracket off of, and all the white balance and everything! That was a real blessing!
Some of the guys were overviewing some pictures or videos I think, which produced some very hilarious faces!🤣 Notice the plate with solar glasses that Daniel is holding. That is what the finished product looks like.
We all helped clean up and all the neighbors and friends left. We all were hot and tired and we kind of drooped back at the house. 😞
Poor Mom was so hot!
Some people took naps, and I think I watched James edit pictures on his computer to see if I could learn some more about photography! We played a few games and we had supper. What a great time we had singing around the table and sharing our favorite part of the day. Mom, Reese, Annabelle, Karen, and I went out and got the van travel-ready. Finally everything was neatly in the back once more, and we went in. I got to play the pedal harp one last time. 😊 We girls played Skip-Bo in the living room until about 1:00 in the morning! So we resigned and went to bed.
by Pleasant Photography