Back on Monday (or really late on Sunday) headed down to Hopkinsville, Kentucky to get an unobstructed view of the Great American Eclipse that was set to take place early Monday afternoon. After what we thought was a long 4.5 hour drive to get to a good viewing location we got all set up and ready to photograph the eclipse. We were using a 12″ x 12″ solar filter sheet to make our solar filter that went over the camera lens as well as used strips of it to make our eye protection. For a whopping $20 we had a solar filter and two viewing glasses with filter material to spare. For the most part everything went pretty well from a technical perspective. In addition to our 200-500mm f/5.6 lens we added Nikon’s 1.4x teleconverter that gave us an effective reach of 700mm at f/8. After dialing in the exposure and turning on bracketing we were all set, and began taking photos at 5 minute intervals once the eclipse began. As totality approached we prepared and Hilarie and I worked together to quickly remove the make shift solar filter when the time came. Once in that amazing approx 2.5 minute window we both started firing away at the full eclipse (Hilarie broke out the 70-200mm f/2.8 lens to add some “wider” view images). Things reversed once totality wrapped up and the filter was re-engaged to photograph the rest of the eclipse on five minute intervals again.
We took photos from those before and after moments and created a poster that shows the progression of the eclipse up to totality and back until the sun was fully uncovered. Over the course of that 2 hour and 55 minute span we enjoyed viewing things both through the view finder and also through our solar glasses and will remember forever that awesome darkness that fell when the moon fully blocked the sun, with street lights turning on, bugs starting to chirp, and the whole area looking like night fall during the middle of the day.
Afterward we endured a 9 hour drive home, but it was well worth it. Check out some of our favorite pictures below, if prints are desired they can be found on our prints site!