Total Eclipse 2017 Totality. I had the chance to see the total eclipse, and it was amazing! I’d seen a partial before, but never a total eclipse, and the difference is, to use a pun intentionally, like night and day. Seeing the little crescent of the sun through your glasses or projected on a piece of cardboard is really cool, but when the darkness suddenly falls and you see the totality, there is no comparison. Getting to a place to see it was also an adventure. My niece lives in Savannah and wanted to see it and invited me down to visit and head for Charleston on that day. But the day before the eclipse Charleston’s weather was looking worse and worse, as was Savannah’s weather, with overcast and storms forecast for the day. We decided to look at the weather the next morning and head for the nearest town in the 100% totality band that looked as if it would be clear. So we drove north into South Carolina toward Orangeburg, and the overcast turned to big puffy clouds. Then a little further north, and a little west toward where there was more blue than clouds. At about noon we decided we’d better choose a place to stop and have lunch and find a place to sit down to watch. We found the town of Swansea, drove around and saw there was more sky than clouds, people were already settling in to watch at the library and parks, and there was a pretty good pizza place, so got our pizza and went to the Swansea public library to watch with people there. The clouds when we got to Swansea. The sky when we got to the library. The library was ready. Thank you Swansea Library branch! Thank you Swansea, you’re a nice little town! Someone was very ready for the eclipse crowds! This person is ready for the eclipse crowds! The was the parking lot. I did not get the solar filter to use on my DSLR so I would only be photographing the totality. My smartphone would not get the crescent without blur, so I borrowed one my niece got. Jennifer’s photo of the crescent. The sidewalks were already speckled with crescent-shaped light, which grew more pronounced as the minutes passed. Crescent shadows on the ground from light speckles through the tree. Crescent shadows on the ground from light speckles through the tree. Everyone watched the eclipse in their own special way, including working on a tan at the same time. Cassidy and Christianson remind me of watching a 3-D movie. Kyler bombs his sister and her friend as they take photos with their phones. Jennifer Cassidy and Christianson work on their tan while watching the sky. Other people gathered to watch the crescent and look through the telescope. The light dimmed a bit starting at about 90%, but it wasn’t until it was past 95% that you could begin to tell. I photographed the changing light at 2:34 and 2:35 and even one minute made a difference—to the west it already looked like sunset. Totality was at 2:36 (at least by my camera’s clock) and the light was like dusk, the street lights on and headlights on cars. The last of the sun disappeared so quickly and with it the light, and everyone gasped when it did. 2:34, just a little dim, totality is in two minutes. 2:35, darkness just before totality. 2:36, darkness during totality. The color of the sky during the totality. I managed to unknowingly capture a little of the chromosphere around the sun in my photos of the totality. You can see the magenta in several spots. I used my 80-300mm zoom handheld using settings I’ve used in photographing sunsets and the full moon, and I’m surprised at what it was able to catch. Turning down the exposure you can see more of the chromosphere. The world brightened again faster than expected and it was more difficult to “not” look at the sky afterward than before. Still walking around with our glasses on. Can’t see anything! Here we are! Ready to head back home where it was storming! From the left, Cassidy’s friend Christianson, Cassidy (my great-niece), me, Kyler (my great-nephew), Jennifer, my niece. Here we are! . . . . . . . Follow me on Instagram. Visit my photography galleries on Portraits of Animals. All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, visit my galleries of Photography on Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “Custom Prints” for availability and terms. I'll be more than happy to make a print for you. 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