2017 Totality


Last Sunday I set up camp for several nights at Badlands NP. On Monday, took a side trip down to Alliance, NE to view the solar eclipse. Here’s my go at photographing the spectacle. Base processing in LR. Additional processing in PhotoFX calling on Clarity and BW Effects with a Soft Light blending layer. Since totality only lasted about 2 minutes, I focused - no pun intended :slight_smile: - on just watching and soaking it all in so the capture is really just a snapshot. Just set up the tripod, aimed, and let the camera do the work, triggering with my wireless shutter release.

Best regards,


Hi Folks,

As I mentioned above, totality only lasted about 2 minutes, but it was an experience I definitely found worth the effort to see. If you haven’t seen a total eclipse, I highly recommend making an attempt to do so. For those in the U.S., there’ll be another occurrence in April 2024 that spans Texas to Maine.

The whole event takes well over an hour as the moon slowly covers the sun. It remains quite bright out even when just a fingernail of the sun is visible. Just prior to totality the wind briefly picks up and the temperature begins to drop - it can drop 5 to 10 degrees even in locations with 90%+ coverage. For the last couple of minutes before and after totality, it starts to look dim or hazy. It’s unusual since it seems like it’s darker somehow yet bright and sunny at the same time. Totality happens suddenly. The corona is beautiful to see; the sky near the sun is black as night and gradually lightens to a just-after-sunset greyish blue in all directions on the horizon. In the darkness surrounding the sun, stars and planets are visible. Though the photographer in me had to take my own picture, I know no photograph can convey the unique experience of totality. I planned a 5 day camping trip around the event, drove from Minneapolis to Badlands NP, then took a 7 hour round trip side trip to essentially see a 2 minute event. I found it worth the effort. A very cool experience I’ll always remember.

Best regards,


Thanks for posting the wonderful image and sharing your experience with us. We were at 80% and it looked like normal afternoon brightness. I guess that shows how powerful the sun is to cast that much brightness with only 20% of itself showing.

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Nicely done …

Wonderful shot and very nice story! It was a very interesting event and I liked your story very much.

We were about 93% and without the special glases, I would not have known. I hope to see totality someday!

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Thanks for sharing your experience and the image. Here in the southern hemisphere…nada. During this time of the year in Lima, Peru it is overcast and grey. That afternoon the sun came for a few hours and shone brightly.

Thanks Kathy; I felt the same way as I saw how bright it stayed as more and more of the sun disappeared behind the moon. Even at a thin fingernail, it was quite bright.

Thank you Bob! @BobKramer

Thanks Ken. I’m sure you’d enjoy the experience. Something else I didn’t mention was the sort of comradery with strangers from all over sharing the experience. I was parked with 3 other cars on an abandoned lot in a kind of rural industrial area. We spent about an hour and a half together watching the progress, learning how we all came to be at that spot, and feeling the anticipation build. Nearby on U.S. Highway 385, groups of cars are just parked along the side of the road doing the same. Some had lawn chairs set up and had a picnic as the show got on.

You’re welcome. Looks like there are 2 total and 1 annular eclipses crossing South America in July 2019 (total north of Santiago, Chile), December 2020 (total south of Santiago, Chile), and October 2023 (annular between Medellin and Cali Columbia). Not very close but maybe you’ll have a chance to see one of those.

Annular eclipse is when the moon is farther from the earth and therefore doesn’t totally cover the sun, so there is a thin ring of the sun visible completely around the moon. These are much less common than total eclipses.

That same annular in October 2023 crosses the western U.S. The path of full annular starts just south of Portland, Oregon heading southeast through Utah, Nevada, Albuquerque, NM, San Antonio, TX and on to Central and South America. I’ve got it on my list now!!

Thanks again for looking everyone, best regards,


I agree with Ken… I enjoyed your story of the event as well as your image.

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thanks for sharing

Great capture! We had about 75% but still a special happening.

Thank you John! I’m definitely glad I made the trip to see it.

@el48tel – Thanks for looking Terry. Looks like a long wait for a total eclipse over your way.

@Michigander – Thanks. I bought one of those Celestron kits with the filter to hold over my lens and got several images as the moon made its way across.

Here’s two:

I also got lucky and happened to get a shot right as the sun started to peek out from behind:

Best regards

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Fantastic job!

yes - will probably have been pushing up daisies for many years

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I’m trying to use future eclipses as an incentive to exercise and eat right! :grinning:


Thank you ScottO. You have caused me to reflect and though I know little about eclipses, but, all the eclipses I have actually witnessed have been annular as best as I can recall.
In Lima, Peru we are approx 1500 miles north of Santiago (as the crow flies) and in July, our winter, we generally have overcast skies. So, traveling to Southern Peru might be in order.
I love the images and have shared with our family on my large editing monitor in my studio.
Thank you!!

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