Since I use this blog as a family journal, I'm going to write about what we did today. And not only us, but millions of Americans--we experienced the Great American Eclipse of 2017.
Even before the event, I wasn't sure what I was going to do. At work I had a mandatory meeting to attend. It was being offered at 10am and at 2pm. That meeting meant I had to turn down an offer to go to Wyoming with my friend Bob to see a total eclipse. The meeting nixed that idea.
About that meeting, I wasn't sure if I was required to attend the 10am meeting so I planned on just going to work, like every other Monday. When I found out I could go to the later meeting, I thought of maybe going to work, driving home, checking out the eclipse with the family, then going back to work. Last night I just decided to stay home, take a couple of hours of annual, then go to work after the moon passed in front of the sun. Besides, the thought of going back to work early Monday morning is the best way to ruin a nice Sunday evening.
I'm so glad I stayed home.
We were a couple of hundred miles south of total eclipse coverage. Still, we expected to see 91% of the sun blocked out. We experienced a partial eclipse back in 2012. Today was nothing like that. What I LOVED (beside being with the family to see this...) was all the things we didn't expect. When more than 50% of the sun was covered, you could see thousands of little eclipses as sunlight filtered through the trees. I didn't know it did that. We also made pinhole viewers with our hands. I also loved how it darkened, and especially how it cooled down, almost ten degrees.
Having not seen an eclipse like this before (at least, one that I could remember...), I wanted to get some good pictures of the event, but I wasn't sure how I'd do it. Turns out good old "trial and error" proved the best teacher.
Luckily, we had eclipse glasses. I tried putting the filter over my phone cameras. Nope. I heard if you used the Selfie mode, you could see the eclipse without looking directly at the sun. Nope. I got my good camera and tried putting the filtered screen over my lens. It worked, but just barely.
Then I swapped lenses, took off the filter and tried it again.
But in order to get the shot, I had to stand in the shade at the corner of our house and extend the camera into the sunlight. I then had to put the camera in movie mode so I could see what the camera saw on the camera's small screen. This involved holding the camera in place with the eclipse glasses in place while holding down the autofocus button. Once I did all that, I had to then take the camera out of movie mode and start snapping pictures, hoping it was still in focus and the sun was still in the picture.
Here's the first picture I took using this method. Not bad, if I don't say so myself.
Eventually, I could look in the viewfinder and take a photo as long as the eclipse glasses were covering the lens.
There was an eclipse back in 1979 and I'm sure I was interested in it, but I don't remember anything about it. Hopefully, in the future, my kids will be able to remember August 21, 2017 and recall the time Dad stayed home from work and we all saw the moon pass in front of the sun.