Being in the moment with nature as the sun grows darker
On the morning of August 21st. I was packed and ready to photograph the solar eclipse. What a beautiful morning, the sky was almost completely clear of clouds with just a little haze hanging on the mountains from all the summer wildfires.
I chose an area with a view of the lake but off the beaten trail. I was hoping to be away from civilization and just alone with the natural environment.
After setting up my camera, 500mm lens, Baader Solar Filter on my heaviest tripod, I took a test photo of the sun before the eclipse started. The Baader Solar Filter is very dark but allows the natural color of the sun, which is white on the photograph.
Before starting to photograph, I checked out the special solar viewing glasses.
At approximate 08:53 PDT, I noticed the dark area beginning to appear on the top of the sun. The solar eclipse was starting. The dark spots on the face of the Sun are sun spots.
Continuing to photograph the eclipsing Sun every few minutes as the moon advanced across its face, I bracketed my exposure from 1/125 second up to 1/1000 second. The camera was set on manual mode, at f/8 and 100 ISO.
When the Sun began to grow darker, I noticed how quiet and still everything seemed to be. All of a sudden, the wings of a golden eagle caught my eye as it headed back toward the canyon. This was a very special moment, almost like a totem was there.
The landscape was getting darker with each advance of the eclipsing Sun and the early morning heat was beginning to cool down. A slight breeze moved the still air.
Around 10:14 PDT it appeared that the Sun had reached the total point of eclipse for this area in Nevada.
I paused from my photography to notice my surroundings, the dark shadows, cool breeze and stillness with any wildlife. Shortly afterward, the surface of the sun began to lighten and the morning heat returned. I heard birds chirping in the canyon and saw a few flying toward the sage brush.
What an experience this was, it was a thrill to try and photograph the Sun but even more meaningful to become one with nature and just be in the moment.
I took the artistic creativity to work this image in Photoshop to bring out the colors surrounding the Sun through the Baader Solar Filter.
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With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.
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