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  • Plan set, one week before the Annular Eclipse. My father, brother and I would drive to some destination (determined as we saw the horizon around us) near the Utah/Nevada border, dead on the center line of full eclipse. A few preparations were made. Brother and I decided my camera would work best, since mirrorless models have the size and Live View capabilities that make them optimal when coupled to a "largish" telescope.

    Sunday, May 20th came and we set out. It only took about 4 and a half hours to find the place we wanted to view, shoot and camp. Dusty, warm, red ants marching from two-foot tall mounds and flies the size of pin heads. I didn't want it to be a miserable experience...really, but I'll be honest. I don't like camping. I haven't for a while! And we'd be camping on mats and tarps under the open skies with gods know WHAT crawling all over us.

    Here's the brief aside...when it comes the the "Outdoors", I know what I'm doing. I was raised camping, raised to survive with very little in the wilderness and even worked as a photographer for an outdoors magazine for a few years, so I'm very capable. I just prefer showers and comfortable beds.

    We set up, geared up, got the filters and cameras and various scopes in position and watched the show.

    It was glorious. I have several hundred photographs to sort through, merge, blend (the image from the telescope projects larger than most cameras sensors, so you must take a photo, move the image, take another...quickly, in order to get a full picture of the sun. They're also bracketed, so multiply each image by 3; each with minor differences in exposure and complicated by the relentless movement of sun and moon and Earth.)

    A lot of work...but worth it.

    And the sleeping under a chaos of stars? That turned out not to suck either.
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