watching the eclipse watchers

Here’s the thing about the eclipse: everyone photographed it. All of my photographer friends pulled out their strongest neutral density filters, motorized/GPS auto-tracking tripod heads (if they had one) and an extra-long telephoto lens to get the same three or four shots that every other photographer was getting, at better or lesser quality. I even have one photographer friend who was shooting for NASA (and captured stunning images). Not being an astro photographer and not having gear more attuned to close-up portraits, I was not going to contribute anything to all of the shots of the eclipse, itself. 

And what of those ultra-unique shots of a plane with contrails passing by or the space-station’s photobomb? With 100’s of thousands of mobile phones pointed at the sun, a few very very lucky souls were bound to capture these rarities. But this is one of the few times that I can say that I was more likely to win the lottery than to capture a shot that was at all different from 10,000 others.

Knowing that I was not likely going to contribute either quality or uniqueness to the body of eclipse images, I decided to not shoot the eclipse at all. Rather, I decided that while they looked high, I would shoot low. And while there were many others who took the same approach, none of them photographed all of the same people that I did, none got exactly the same look or expression from any one person as I did, few created images with the same landmarks giving context to place, and few produced images in the same style as mine. Do they contribute any value to the vast body of images of the solar eclipse as an event? I don’t know. But I do know that I had a blast creating the images and talking to many of the people I photographed, and I am happy and proud to share this set as my unique little offering to our shared experience.

Click any image to view the entire gallery of 14 photographs in high resolution.

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