Photography Travel

Solar Eclipse 2024 Video and Photo Set

My full documentation of the solar eclipse of 2024 as seen from Conneaut Township Beach.

My trip to Conneaut Township Beach for the solar eclipse.

Pardon me for being late, but here we are one week after the total solar eclipse of 2024, as seen from Conneaut Township Park, aka Conneaut Beach, Ohio, on the shore of Lake Erie.

I ended up in Ohio to mitigate the risk of cloud cover. I brought my main camera and one old GoPro. I should have brought my proper tripod, but I guess I was feeling casual about it at the time that I packed the car. It was a rough shoot, mostly for posterity.

I was hitched to the wagon of a fine lady that I have been seeing for a couple of months. Her name is Phaedra. She was fine companionship.

The evening prior was cold with clear skies. We crashed in the Allegheny National Forest with a quick camp set up, just in and out. My sleep suffered from it, but the breakfast in Missy’s Arcade Restaurant in Titusville, PA, was good.

We carried on toward Erie, but we started to worry about the sky, as it was very cloudy. We rerouted on the fly based on the cloud radar forecasts, and shifted toward Ohio.

I joked to her (in all seriousness) that the geo-engineers would be in the skies today to make sure it was a good experience for all the tourists and cameras.

We got as far as we could before it was transit time for the moon, and Conneaut Township seemed like the best option.

Parking was easy. There was a parking lot designated to host all the visitors, but they were empty. We got our spot at the beach and found ourselves quite by accident immediately next to some kind of short term monument to the sun. I don’t know who the artist was.

People have a way of milling about and acting blasé in the face of rare life moments, especially children. We posted up next to a big family. I believed that we’d find scores of branded eclipse glasses or even hawkers, but there were none, and when Phaedra lost her glasses right there on the beach, the family had surplus and shared two with us.

Sure enough, tell-tale geo-engineering airplanes were criss-crossing in the sky, producing those long straight cloud lines. When you watch those evolve, they typically thin out into a haze that I always believed was meant to reduce solar radiation. It’s weird to me how infrequently average people are willing to acknowledge that these airplanes are differentiated at all from the typical exhaust you’ll see that evaporates momentarily, not leaving a flight path.

I witnessed several jets box in the sun during the lunar transit phase, and given how clear the sky looks through my camera, it sure seems like they had an effect of clearing the skies rather than seeding cloud cover.

We watched patiently through the process. I mostly watched over the camera. As the clouds dispersed, I realized that the photo exposure would always be saturated with any clear shot. I could not close the aperture and speed the shutter enough to cut out all of the natural light.

The tools in my camera kit were barely sufficient — a solar eclipse-rated lens filter is quite niche and I don’t have one. I had a lightly tinted lens plus a purple filter, so I slapped them both on. It looked kind of rad.

At the same time, I was in a race against the moon as the GoPro camera charged on a backup battery, even though I had believed it to be charged. I wanted to capture the whole sunset effect against the sands of the beach.

The beach scene, taken by the GoPro, represents approximately 11 minutes of time, as it plays at 300% of normal speed through the majority of the sequence. With exception to the fadeout split screen, all solar video is played at normal speed. The correlation between what is happening in the sky rapidly tightens and then loosens again.

The music does the same. This piece is called “Remediated,” and it is available on my BandCamp in its entirety. It is also an overlay of different points in time within the same audio file, and it comes into synchronicity only briefly, which I matched to the eclipse.

The traffic returning was out of hand, largely due to a construction project on I-80. Google Maps didn’t sufficiently warn of it, and as we waded through the interstate for a full hour, spanning maybe 3 miles, the map kept saying we were only 18 minutes delayed.

We got home around 2am, myself jacked on coffee and adrenaline, and I was quite exhausted the next day. Travel for me is rarely a vacation. In this case, it was worth it.

I couldn’t help but think about The Watchmaker Analogy while observing the eclipse, even leading up to the observation, ruminating on the idea of a total solar eclipse as something we take for granted. We have a very unique moon, in reality.

I truly cannot believe that we have a moon that was — as taught in my college Astronomy class — likely created by a chaotic meteor impact that resulted in the moon taking its shape in a perfect angular diameter compared to the observable sun from Earth. Nope. Not a coincidence. I don’t care if it’s God, a simulation, or aliens. It’s intelligent design, and it’s awesome.

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