To see more photos from this trip, please visit the Wyoming Solar Eclipse 2017-08 location gallery here. Click on any image below to see a larger version.
At first, I was not going to shoot this once-in-a-lifetime event. But as I heard and read more about the uniqueness of it, along with the tools and techniques needed, I started to get the urge. After some last-minute scrambling to get solar glasses and solar filters for the lenses, I drove up to central Wyoming to a rural location just south of Casper and near the centerline of the path of totality.
Campgrounds in the area were already filled by people who had done a much better job of planning in advance. I stopped along a back road to practice finding the sun through the 400mm lens and the solar filter, which turned out to be harder than it appears. I was putting away the equipment when I was joined by a local landowner, who told me I was on private property. I apologized and ask where I could find some public land where I could camp for several days. He explained that it is difficult to identify public lands because the public and private lands are very intermixed, the atlas does not show land ownership, and there is no requirement to post private property in Wyoming. After several minutes of friendly conversation, he told me he knew where I could camp, and led me onto his property to a shaded campsite next to a creek, where he and his family had camped while building his cabin. Over the next three days, I had 160 acres to myself to practice eclipse techniques and shoot some very dark Milky Way skies. One the day of the eclipse, I set up two cameras, one for a timelapse of the phases of the pre-eclipse, plus totality, and the other for close-up of the sun just before and after totality.
I also took advantage of the very dark skies in that area of Wyoming to shoot several different Milky Way scenes.
This trip was an exercise in good fortune: the solar filter and solar glasses arrived just in time, I was lucky enough to encounter a welcoming landowner and stay on his property, and there were clear skies and moderate temperatures for the entire trip. I had time to practice camera settings and had some down time to relax. Overall, an enjoyable and productive outing.
To see more photos from this trip, please visit the Wyoming Solar Eclipse 2017-08 gallery here.
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