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The Great North America Total Eclipse of 2017

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This image I'm presenting here for the Eclipse challenge came so close to not happening. What a tease the weather gave us all here.  I tossed and turned all night hoping and praying for clear skies and kept getting up and going outside barefoot to see how it looked. Please be clear just one more time! This would make it 5 clear mornings in a row here on the Oregon coast. That's really pushing it I have to say. At 5 a.m. it looked amazing. Just crystal...Yes! I tried to sleep a bit more but again just tossed and turned At 7 a.m. I ventured out again.. it had started to fog over. Uh oh. At 8 a.m. it looked dismal. Fog below the treeline. Noooo! At 8:59 a.m. with only a few minutes left before the start of it it happened...The fog lifted to blue skies and stayed clear. Thank the stars and maker! Such an emotional ride.

This is what I was finally able to capture during totality. I've captured a few partial Solar eclipses but this was my very first total and the experience was life changing. Just the gradual light change was spectacular but during totality when the temps dropped from from 70 to far down enough for me to be able to see my breath and all the birds to stop chirping and crickets to be heard? Amazing. I was barely able to get a quick glimpse of it with my own eyes while snapping away at only 1 minute 2 seconds where I was but managed 15 hand bracketed exposures in less than 50 seconds.

I used a Stellarvue SV80ED doublet with a Canon full frame 5Dmkiii on an Orion AZ/EQ-G Atlas Pro tracking mount. Everything was done in manual mode and adjusting the full range of exposures by hand. No automation or computer was used at all. I used ISO 400 to speed the exposure times up a bit and shot everything in RAW format.

The final image is the 15 RAW exposures I was able to capture in 50 seconds fused together using Photoshop layers hand aligned and then that fusion flattened and then just slightly edited the shadows, highlights and contrast in Adobe Camera RAW. 

Thanks for looking and the opportunity here. I hope you enjoy the results as much as I do. 


All the best and look up!


Total Eclipse 2017 corona highlights small.jpg

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59 minutes ago, Stu said:

Wonderful image Chris. I confess I would just have wanted to watch the whole thing but the result is a beautiful image so well worth while. An amazing experience.

Thank's so much Stu. Much appreciated. That's my one regret about this rare event now that it's past. That I could only glance up at it a few quick times. I did though and that memory of it will last till the end.

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28 minutes ago, Leveye said:

Thank's so much Stu. Much appreciated. That's my one regret about this rare event now that it's past. That I could only glance up at it a few quick times. I did though and that memory of it will last till the end.

It's a tough balance to strike isn't it? At least you did manage to see it as well as image it.

In a totally unrelated example, I was in St Lucia some years ago on a boat looking for dolphins. We were towards the end of the tour, heading back without having seen anything when we found a pod of around 300 of them. We spent a wonderful 20 minutes with these beautiful creatures leaping and spinning everywhere around us, a once in a lifetime experience. After finding them too quick to capture successfully I put my camera down and just watched. As a result I have no pictures but wonderful memories. It sounds like you have both, which is even better :) 

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Just now, Ant said:

So many wonderful images to come out of the eclipse. This one is no exception. Nice one


Thank you for your kind words. It was surely one of the first in the U.S. to be taken of it from my location right on the coast but I really wanted to take my time with the data before posting. I did not edit anything till the next day I was still so giddy from the event. Glad I waited. 

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