I had never photographed a solar-eclipse before, so the whole thing was one huge learning-experience! The “Totality” encompassed our small farm and an adjacent swath about 20-miles wide. But what did I know about “solar-filters”…..???…..(much like a welding-helmet filter, but much stronger, using higher quality glass). And plotting the AOV (Angle-of-View) for the duration of the sequence (over 2+hours!)…..???…..and remembering that right-in-the-middle of it all…there will be 2-minutes of fast-moving near-total darkness….??? But…I always carry a small flashlight in my pocket…so not-to-worry. Right?
Friends from miles-around came for an overnight stay, and another pro-shooter from Portland was one of the gathered-souls. We ate, drank, laughed…and scouted our vistas for the morrow, setting-up tripods for the morning shoot. Lots of excitement!
I used an intervalometer to ease the boring stuff like “timed” images during the initial (and final) sequences….but I was relying on my innate manual skills to capture a variety of time-values for the complete eclipse portion of the event. Everything was going according to plan! Until…I reached into my pocket for my trusty-dusty mini-light…and then….!!…I remembered loaning it to one of the city-campers who need it last night to find their tent after the evening party!
I had no way to read (and quickly adjust…) my exposure-settings in the dark! I moaned!
Luckily, pro-shooter buddy Mike called to me in the fast-descending dark…and tossed me an extra headlamp he had in his pack. In the dark…he tossed it! OMG…what If it crashed somewhere out of my grasp? But…..luck-being-luck…I managed to catch it…and using it, continued shooting…missing only about 15-seconds of that precious 2-minutes of once-in-a-lifetime exposures!
My heart raced for days after that close-call!
How could so much good planning…be blasted by such damnable bad-luck?
The end-results were worth the effort, and Mike and I both felt we shared a memorable time in the pleasurable presence of some fine-folk, during an auspicious natural event.