Total Solar Eclipse 2017

It's been nearly a week since the total solar eclipse.  By now, you've surely seen hundreds of photos of the event, and may be tired of them.  To be honest, they mostly all look the same. There are a few exceptions, but seriously, it's not easy to create images of an eclipse that will be dramatically different than everyone else's.  Those that really are unique take a lot of planning and time to create.  Much more time than most of us have to devote to photography.  

My plan was to set up in my front yard and capture all phases of the eclipse, including over two-and-a-half minutes of totality.  It was a good plan, and I had all the necessary gear and had done my research to know how to capture the images.  It seemed like a slam dunk, and I wouldn't even have to fight the massive crowds and traffic that were predicted to flock toward the line of maximum totality.  

The only questionable aspect of this plan was the weather.  Darn the weather!  No matter how much we think we can control it, we just cannot.  The weather does what it wants when it wants to do it.  Clear skies for the total eclipse?  I think not.  At least not here in northwest Missouri. Some parts of the area had clear skies, if only for a brief time, but thick cloud cover was dominant and would make viewing the eclipse difficult, if not impossible.  It wasn't possible from my front yard, so the plans had to change....and quick! 

We traveled to the south and east, vigilantly watching the skies and checking the cloud cover radar as we went.  From the looks of things, it appeared we would need to travel at least a couple hours to get to some clearing.  Traffic seemed a little heavier than normal, but wasn't bad. After stopping a few times along the way, we finally decided to head to Sedalia to see how it looked there.  Sedalia was a little south of the max totality line, but the radar looked promising.  We ended up a few miles just south of Sedalia, just barely within the zone of totality.  By the time we set up, the eclipse was just starting.  The sky was mostly clear, although there were some thin clouds lingering. 

As it turned out, we were able to see the entire eclipse from our location.  Unfortunately, however, there were only a few seconds of totality.  A far cry from what I was hoping for on this day.  The cloud cover was spotty, as there were others in the area that were able to see the entire eclipse and over two minutes of totality.  It was just a matter of being in the right place at the right time...and a little bit of luck, too.  At least we got to see it, so that makes it all worthwhile.  Here are a few of the images that I captured.

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