Shooting the Eclipse

2017 has been filled with musicians dying, Trump tweeting to North Korea and people unable to comprehend that the south actually lost. All of this has made for quite a dramatic and hostile year, but this past Monday everyone chilled out for about two hours and geeked out on the sun. It was honestly crazy cool to indulge the hype and act like a third grader in science class, but as a photographer I had to decide wether or not I was going to try and shoot this solar phenomenon. Well like with most things in my life I decided to wait until the last possible second to commit, so I packed my gear up as fast as possible and headed out. 

I drove out to a road right outside of town thats sits perfectly in the hills. They had actually just resurfaced the roads so it has this amazing horizon. While setting up my gear I was still trying to come up with how I was going to shoot the eclipse because I legitimately had no idea what I was doing. I mean people invest tons of money into gear for things like this and here I am tailgating the eclipse with a $350 camera hoping to catch just a decent shot to post to instagram.

As I waited for the totality of the eclipse to pass I sat in my lawn chair with my coffee blasting 90's music. I was literally in the middle of nowhere and there was no one around... it was epic. The moon finally began to move into position, so I put my trusty ISO certified shades (not from dutch bros) on and took a look. At 11:27ish the eclipse was in its total phase and I snagged a couple shots. I figured I got a good shot or two and packed up and headed home. What I didn't realize is I had captured something amazing.

As per usual I began editing photos at my local coffee shop and was stunned when I saw what I got. With minimal adjustments in Lightroom I exported the shot and decided to upload it to Instagram. Within about an hour or so the shot began to blow up. I started getting all kinds of comments from people all over, a couple of different accounts shared the image and then I realized I was getting something like 24k views. I decided I would try posting the picture to Reddit and see what kind of response I would get from the crazy internet trolls. I ended up with 80k views on my post and being number 5 on a national list of the top 10 photos of the eclipse. . 

Well here I am still processing how the shot has gotten me some crazy exposure (classic photo pun). People are emailing me for prints and sending me pictures of their phones with my shot as the wallpaper. I feel like I took away a bit of insight in the past 24 hours and thats when you try the least, you get your best work done. So in classic Mikey fashion, here's to not trying.

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Mike Abbondandolo