St. Louis + Destination


Travel & Nature Photojournalism

Image : Composite of multiple exposures showing Solar Eclipse phases leading up to Totality.

Over the past several months I have been preparing for what was purported to be an incredible display of celestial mechanics, the 2017 Solar Eclipse. Thankfully, my hometown of Farmington, Missouri was right in the totality range, a near-perfect location for totality viewing.

To prepare, I studied solar and eclipse photography to learn the best approaches. I purchased an 18-Stop neutral density solar filter (an absolute necessity), and rented a 400mm lens. Even with purchasing the filter and renting the lens several months in advance, I barely secured my required gear before items were out of stock or severely back ordered. The day before the eclipse, I mounted my gear onto my tripod to practice solar photography.

It was much more difficult than I had anticipated.

Image: Solar test shot.

While driving from Saint Louis to Farmington, Highway 55 South was bumper-to-bumper from Arnold all the way to Herculaneum. I saw many cars from out of state decorated with window chalk in reference to the Solar Eclipse. “#TotalityorBust” was painted on one car from Michigan. I saw several others from Wisconsin. Tour buses, even.

Begin Sequence // 11:54 AM CST

At last! Totality occurred at 1:17 PM CST.

Glorious – the coveted Baily’s Beads (Diamond Ring) phase. I was so glad to have captured this moment, which lasts only a few seconds just before and just after totality. You can see some fuzziness around the sun – those are clouds. In the minutes leading up to (and after) totality, in what seemed like an ultimate “SIIIIKE” by our atmosphere, clouds began to cover the sun. My heart sank…for a moment I thought we would miss totality due to cloud cover. Thankfully, those clouds moved along quickly.

Totality lasted approximately 2.5 minutes. I was flooded with a range of emotions. At first it was eerie – the landscape darkened significantly. The temperature dropped over ten degrees. Cicadas began to chirp. People from around town cheered and yelled with excitement off in the distance. We were all looking upward, witnessing a remarkable display of natural phenomena.

I truly hope you have enjoyed this series of photographs from the Solar Eclipse.
It was an amazing and emotional experience.

Technical Information

Body: Canon 5Dmkiii
Lens: Canon 400mm f/5.6L @ f/11
18 Stop Solar Filter
Tripod; Shutter Release Cable

Print Information

If you would like to purchase a print on archival, fine art giclée paper, visit this link to view available images and sizes:

Paper type: Archival Matte Paper – an FSC-certified, acid-free paper with a smooth, neutral-white finish.
Paper Weight: Heavy Weight (230 gsm)
Mounting: Not mounted
Printing: Inkjet Printing