I must admit that there are times when I’m just downright stupid.
I was waiting for 8-21-17 ever since I first heard about the solar eclipse over a year ago. Now in all that time, you would think that a smart person would’ve looked into how to properly take a picture of the upcoming solar eclipse. I will take this time to refer back to my opening sentence.
I had a full year to prepare. Did I do it? No. I planned on going to South Carolina for the event. At least I didn’t do that.
So let’s investigate why my declaration of dumbness is so apt. Back in 2014 I witnessed a partial solar eclipse at nearly the same place as this year. On that occasion, I was able to get plenty of good pictures and even a video that I’ve posted on youtube. So, in my mind, I should do things the same way as I did then and everything would be hunky-dory, right?
This was my stubborn pride killing off brain cells like the black plague.
The problem was, I didn’t compare the circumstances between events. In 2014, the eclipse didn’t start until nearly sundown. All of that atmosphere blocked much of the sunlight, allowing me to take pictures with reckless impunity. Whereas this year, the sun was high in the sky, with nothing to block the brightness except a stray cloud or two.
My cameras and I weren’t happy.
As I sat watching this awesome sight through my cardboard glasses, an impotent rage was welling within me at my helplessness. I tried with every camera I had brought, but none of the pictures were holding a candle to the sight of the sun through my glasses.
In sheer desperation, I cut the lens out of my extra set of glasses and taped it to the lens of my video camera. It wasn’t perfect, but it was good enough to consider the trip, not a total failure.
So what did I learn from my brush with defeat?
Knowledge is out there for a reason. Use it.
Hopefully, I’ll do better in seven years when the sun’s shadow passes by again.