Witnessing Totality in Casper, Wyoming
In all honesty, I was quite hesitant to photograph what was to be known as The Great American Eclipse. With news channels predicting apocalyptic style traffic, gas stations and grocery stores running out of supplies and hotel rooms being completely sold out years in advance, I started to question how enjoyable the actual experience would be. As a photographer, sometimes capturing an image can take away from the moment itself, and sometimes, it can enhance it. Fortunately, after vehicle breakdowns, satellite internet malfunctions, unexpected weather conditions and countless hours of preparation it all ended in tears of joy, beautiful photographs, new friends and a truly unforgettable moment in our lives.
The video below is the first of a three-part documentary series in collaboration with GMC and The Matador Network. Each video will capture a unique part of my story and share a little more insight into my passion for photography and my desire to constantly push myself and the boundaries of my craft.
Location: We chose a 400-acre private ranch just outside of Casper, WY which was considered one of the best places in the country to view the eclipse. The location allowed ample room for our driving scenes, filming the eclipse and ultimately, the chance to experience the moment with no else around except two of my closest friends and a small film crew.
Equipment: My photographs were taken using a special tracking solar telescope that was able to capture surface detail in the sun, thanks to Oceanside Photo and Telescope, along with a second setup using a regular mirrorless camera with a 100-400mm lens to capture the "Diamond Ring" moment just as totality was ending.
THE FINAL SHOTS
Even though I was in front of the camera, my goal was to walk away with a few images of the eclipse that I was proud of, and I feel extremely fortunate that I was able to capture these. The first image is a sequence that I shot over a 2 hour period with the solar telescope which shows actual surface detail from the sun.
The second image is an extremely rare moment known as the "Diamond Ring" which has to be taken just before or after the moment of totality where light starts to wrap around the edge of the moon.
I want to give a huge shout out to the entire team, each person played a vital role in making this possible and I am honored that so many people came together to help tell my story. Thank you GMC, Matador Network and Oceanside Photo and Telescope for supporting my journey and I look forward to more adventures ahead!
P.S. If you are interested in watching some behind the scenes moments of the FB Live video where multiple people cried, check it out (here).
NEXT UP: MOAB, UTAH
Our next destination will take us to a place where the ocean once covered the red rock, dinosaurs roamed the landscape, ancient civilizations thrived and some of the darkest skies in the country still remain.
...Stay tuned for the next video.