Not so Clear Blue Sky

Yesterday morning was a nice and crisp so I stepped out on the driveway. The birds were chirping and flying around. As I looked up towards the heavens, I noticed the crisscrossing contrails of the high flying jets along with the Cirrocumulus clouds.

This was at about 7:15 am. These folks must have gotten up real early!

Photographed: Plano, TX 2020-01-08

The Other Totality

January 2018. This year it is a rare occurrence, that we have a Super Moon, Blue Moon and Blood Moon all in the same month. This hasn’t happened in about 152 years, so I had to at least try and capture it. Last August we made the trip to Nebraska to make pictures of the Solar Eclipse. It seemed right to shoot the “Other Totality” as well.

The first Full, Super Moon was January 1st. Technically it was January 2nd at 8:24 CST in the morning. I captured this from our back yard the evening of January 1st.SuperMoon_20180101_031

The second Full Moon, Blue Moon, happened on January 31st, 7:27 CST. It was low on the horizon so I went to a park that is on a little hill and captured this.

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Then the fun started. It was a windy and chilly 42 degrees. My hands and feet got really cold. Good thing I sat in my truck most of the time, except to get out and make a few shots.

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The beginning of the Total Eclipse of the moon, Blood Moon.

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About an hour into the eclipse a plane came in  view. I almost missed it!


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Its harder to focus the camera on something so dark, and through the DFW atmosphere on top of that.

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First light was starting and made it even harder to focus the camera

The Sun started coming up and the horizon was getting dimmer. I could barely see the moon, so I know my camera was having a real hard time too.

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It was a fun learning experience. Darkness, and a Bright light for a while, then the haze and atmosphere was filtering what little light the moon was reflecting.

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Totality – See you in the Dark!

August 19, 2017 We made the trip to Salina, Kansas. Salina had the closest available hotel I could find on the web. I will say in the 575 miles we drove to get to Fairmont, there is not much to see besides the great farmers and land across America.  We got up early Monday morning for the rest of the two hour drive to Fairmont, Nebraska for the 2017 Great American Solar Eclipse to be in the path of Totality.

The eclipse was an AWESOME site to see and recommend anyone to make the, for some, once in a lifetime adventure as we did at some point in your life.

I took several practice shots here in Plano with my new (to me) Canon 100-400 lens as well as my trusty Tamron 70-300.  I purchased a universal solar filter online. We had mostly bright sunny days except for one to test.

I have wanted a longer lens and found one on Craig’s List for a good price in really good condition. It made the pictures better and bigger. If you click on the picture on the lower left, you can see sunspots.Solar Eclipse 2017_20170821_018

Fairmont Nebraska, population 560 easily quadrupled in size the day of the eclipse. They did things right by adding rides, multiple designated viewing sites and extras. The Volunteer Fire Department was great at everything from answering questions, directing traffic and cooking burgers.

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Everyone was ready to have 2 minutes and 36 seconds of a good time. The whole eclipse lasts about 4 hours start to finish. We met some really great people as well.

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I need a lens like this!

We took Juanita’s Mother as well. She reminisced about the 40’s when they came to Nebraska to harvest crops.

The set up was a little tricky because of the overcast sky’s. I could not locate the sun in my viewfinder, But finally a little break.Kansas and Nebraska_20170821_026

Then as the day progressed, a little more break in the clouds!

I was getting a little nervous having driven all that way to see a cloudy day, but then God said, here is a little hole in the clouds, See what I can do?

It happened on mostly clear sky, very few high clouds, but completely visible.

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This is the Diamond Ring

Completely awesome! You only have less than 7 seconds to capture the diamond ring on either side of the eclipse. I got really close, but missed the other one. This was the craziest thing  I have ever attempted to photograph, and NO do-overs!

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Totality a few seconds after the Diamond Ring

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Total Eclipse last 2:36

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I even got a little sun flare when cropped way in!

2 minutes 36 seconds later, it was almost over and the clouds moved back in.

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Note the little half sun circles!

Eclipses happen about once ever 18 months or so. The next U.S. eclipse will be a lot closer to home in April 8th, 2024 and will almost go directly over our house. After that it will be in places I’ll likely never see.

And now the 10.5 hour drive back to Plano! Thanks to the Sheriffs department, traffic moved really well.

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I have more pictures from the trip but still editing. I attempted for the first time to photograph the Milky Way while we were away from the city light pollution!

The next Adventure is…!

Thanks for looking.