"A Once In A Lifetime Trip...
That We Hope To Take Again!"
This is a record of the Gregory Family Experience of the 2017 Great American Eclipse.
We planned far in advance including the purchase of eclipse glasses from Toys-R-Us, a sheet of solar film for me to make camera filters from and choice os location.
We opted to avoid the chaos (though it sounded like fun) of hopkinsville and chose instead to head to Clarksville, TN. Scouring the map and making contact with the Clarksville Recreations department, it seemed there were several parks within ten miles of the perfect center of the totality path. My park of choice was Billy Dunlop Park.
The day before, we gathered up all the supplies: folding chairs, coolers, food, drinks, camera equipment, computer (Mac of course), tripods, star tracker (home-made, that's another story entirely), sunscreen, 3DS games (for the ride) and the eclipse glasses of course.
On the day of the eclipse, We packed everything up and left home around 5:30am, stopped in Henderson to get ice for the coolers and were on our way. By the time we were just outside of Henderson, we drove into a glorious sunrise and I had a very good feeling about the day.
The Perfect Place
The Actual Experience
I set up my Nikon D3300 with a Vivitar Series 1 1000mm lens complete with a solar filter made from a UV lens, a thin ring adapter and a perfectly cut circle of solar filter film, mounted on my home-made star tracker connected by wifi to my Mac. I also set up my D7000 on a fixed tripod with a wired remote shutter and a 300mm lens with two polarized filters combined to make a variable density lens. I had to adjust the D7000 every ten minutes or so to keep the sun in view. Thanks to the variable density filter, during totality I was able to grab the D7000, adjust the front filter and capture the ring of fire manually.
For and hour and a half, we watched the moon cross over the sun, from a nibble to barely a sliver. We invited others in the area to come and see and they were delighted to see it on the screen where the sun spots and eclipse progress were much easier to see (and no risk of blindness).
All along, we also took a few moments too look at it through the glasses too.
And THEN came TOTALITY!
Once totality was complete, we had another hour and a half to finish out all the photos of the moon passing out from in front of the sun.
And then the trek back home riding off into the sunset... literally!
I hope you have enjoyed sharing our experience.
It's only a few years until another opportunity comes, so we're looking forward to next time. Maybe we'll see you there.
George Gregory ~ Owner of PhotoGG.com