As I wrapped up Savannah 2018 I wondered what images I would share with you next. It occurred to me that the solar eclipse was already a year ago and I had hardly showcased the images I took that day. I did not have the good fortune of being in the path of totality, but I did take the time to spend it outdoors at Sweetwater Wetlands Park in Gainesville, FL. Honestly, I wasn’t prepared for the eclipse in any manner. I didn’t have fancy glasses or special photo gear. I probably would have been better off staying home and exploring the neighborhood oak trees with its dazzling array of crescent shadows, but I made my decision and stuck to it.
We weren’t the only spectators to gather at Sweetwater, although most were equipped with their solar eclipse sunglasses. A nice family was generous enough to let me take a peak through their glasses. I was floored by what I saw and immensely grateful. We then made our way to the boardwalk with our hole punched card stock “pinhole” cameras. As time went by we would periodically hold out the card stock to check the status of the eclipse.
Since I wasn’t able to view the eclipse directly with my eyes, I fixed them and my camera to the water below me. I was graced with a dazzling array of light and lily pads in varying states of decay. Because of the direct sunlight reflecting in the water a celestial starscape was created in the water, giving the sense of space.
An interesting effect from the eclipse that I did not expect was the change in light value. The light started out bright yellow, and gradually shifted to a shadowy blue as though I were wearing polarizing lenses. As the eclipse concluded the light returned to normal. We lingered to keep shooting and sketching the landscape. In the west it was bright blue skies with puffy white clouds, but in the east there was a nasty storm brewing. The rain falling in the distance. The contrast between east and west was powerful.
I hope to experience the path of totality in the future, with the right eye protection and camera gear. I’m grateful to have experienced what I could last year. I never would have guessed I could have so much fun shooting the eclipse by looking at the water. I hope you enjoyed this series. Please share your questions or comments. I’d love to hear from you.