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Eclipse - see it with a crowd or not?

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#1 vickiestar

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 09:51 AM

Prior to the eclipse I kept fretting if I should go somewhere secluded to get interesting shots and not be bothered by crowds, or should I just go somewhere populated (options included eclipse festivals, college campuses, parks, etc.).confused1.gif

 

I decided to watch the eclipse from the campus of WCU (Cullowhee, NC). The previous day someone told me that it would be closed to the public, but actually only parking would be closed to the public. (I briefly pondered disguising myself as a professor to make sure my presence would not be challenged). So I rode my bike onto campus with a bag loaded with camera gear and snacks. The university had a tent set-up to hand-out eclipse glasses, and classes had been canceled during the eclipse - everyone was aware there was going to be an eclipse, but I think many didn't realize how awesome it would be.bugeyes.gif

 

While setting up my camera, nobody bothered me. People just walked by like any other day. When the sun was partially blocked I had to tell a few people that the eclipse had started, so they looked up, and became afixed at the sight.

 

Others stopped, and the chatter continuously increased. Shortly before 2nd contact, it became applause and then loud yells and screams. I stayed crazy-busy after setting up two GoPro cameras and snapping shots with a DSLR. Passing clouds caused me to keep changing filter combinations (at some points the partial eclipse was visible with no glasses at all, thus I and others put our trust in the clouds to view the eclipse rather than solar glasses). uhhh5.gif fyi: Use solar glasses if unsure about thickness of clouds!! uhhh5.gif

 

When it was all done, nobody had bothered me at all during totality. People were much too mezmerized by the eclipse to notice one guy with a tripod.

Everyone had their own personal images and videos. But everyone began to realize that cell-phone images don't capture the moment - really there is no single media that could have capture this event. Anyway, at this point, numerous students and others came to me and asked if I'm "selling" my pictures. Two or three even seemed desperate, as if something great had just happened in their life - and they had no evidence or memento to bring home from the event.sad.png

 

I told them I'm not a professional photographer, and not even sure my images would be any good. But I said I'll post whatever is ok on social media (Flickr).ubetcha.gif

 

So without adding too many more words - I say when deciding to see the next eclipse with a crowd or not - go where there will be people! It's way more fun, and nobody will bother you during totality. Only after the eclipse, as you're packing up your camera gear, will your tasks be interupted by passers-by, some who seem to have had their lives changed.rainbow.gif

 

For pics (a link which I've already shared more than once) see below, and scroll left to see events as eclipse progressed:

 

https://www.flickr.c...03/36562522952/

 

smile.gif


Edited by vickiestar, 13 September 2017 - 11:43 AM.

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#2 REC

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 10:11 AM

Prior to the eclipse I kept fretting if I should go somewhere secluded to get interesting shots and not be bothered by crowds, or should I just go somewhere populated (options included eclipse festivals, college campuses, parks, etc.).confused1.gif
 
I decided to watch the eclipse from the campus of WCU (Cullowhee, NC). The previous day someone told me that it would be closed to the public, but actually only parking would be closed to the public. (I briefly pondered disguising myself as a professor to make sure my presence would not be challenged). So I rode my bike onto campus with a bag loaded with camera gear and snacks. The university had a tent set-up to hand-out eclipse glasses, and classes had been canceled during the eclipse - everyone was aware there was going to be an eclipse, but I think many didn't realize how awesome it would be.bugeyes.gif
 
While setting up my camera, nobody bothered me. People just walked by like any other day. When the sun was partially blocked I had to tell a few people that the eclipse had started, so they looked up, and became afixed at the sight.
 
Others stopped, and the chatter continuously increased. Shortly before 2nd contact, it became applause and then loud yells and screams. I stayed crazy-busy after setting up two GoPro cameras and snapping shots with a DSLR. Passing clouds caused me to keet changing filter combinations (at some points the partial eclipse was visible with no glasses at all, thus I and others put our trust in the clouds to view the eclipse rather than solar glasses). uhhh5.gif fyi: Use solar glasses if unsure about thickness of clouds!! uhhh5.gif
 
When it was all done, nobody had bothered me at all during totality. People were much too mezmerized by the eclipse to notice one guy with a tripod.
Everyone had their own personal images and videos. But everyone began to realize that cell-phone images don't capture the moment - really there is no single media that could have capture this event. Anyway, at this point, numerous students and others came to me and asked if I'm "selling" my pictures. Two or three even seemed desparate, as if something great had just happened in thier life - and they had no evidence or momemto to bring home from the event.sad.png
 
I told them I'm not a professional photographer, and not even sure my images would be any good. But I said I'll post whatever is ok on social media (Flickr).ubetcha.gif
 
So without adding too many more words - I say when deciding to see the next eclipse with a crowd or not - go where there will be people! It's way more fun, and nobody will bother you during totality. Only after the eclipse, as you're packing up your camera gear, will your tasks be interupted by passers-by, some who seem to have had their lives changed.
 
For pics (a link which I've already shared more than once) see below, and scroll left to see events as eclipse progressed:
 
https://www.flickr.c...03/36562522952/
 
smile.gif

Yes, small crowds are fun. I was at a hotel with a group and there where plenty of others that came for the eclipse. Lot's of cheering and oohs and ah's was a nice experience.


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#3 SteveRosenow

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 02:53 PM

We had only about 20 people or so on our ridgetop viewpoint four miles west of town. A few were friends of mine who met up with me, including a guy I went to high school with and one of them a fellow CN'er.

We could hear the whooping and hollering from about 1,500 that camped out on a farm about 1k feet below us a mile away, but for the most part we were pretty awed to make any noise. :) LOL


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#4 EricTheCat

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 05:06 PM

I am not a people person and generally prefer to do most things alone.  For the eclipse, I ended up setting up in a clearing by the hotel parking lot in Casper, WY.  Some maybe 40 people set up in the same area.  When it was all over I felt blessed that those people came.  It really added to the experience.  It was really fun letting anyone who wanted to look at the partial phases with my 10" dob.  Everyone was super nice and cheerful.  Many people came up to me after the eclipse thanking me for the views.  I will always cherish the personal interactions I had that day even if most days I would rather hide in a shell. :)


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#5 kfiscus

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 05:22 PM

Observed with a nice spread-out crowd of 400.  We were in 3 adjacent softball fields and had LOTS of room to spread out if we wanted.  Most stayed in small groups of friends and family.  It was perfect- not crowded, not noisy, people able to move around during the partial phases to look through different equipment.  Made more special by sharing with each other.  Someone might notice something you'd missed, both are better for it.


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#6 Exeligmos

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 05:51 PM

For me, the more people the better to get the reactions, especially those who have no idea what is about to hit them.

 

On the other hand, fewer people wold be better in case one needs to move quick to dodge clouds.

 

In a church parking lot in Eddyville, Kentucky, we had about a couple dozen people.


Edited by Exeligmos, 13 September 2017 - 05:54 PM.

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#7 woodscavenger

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 11:50 PM

Me, my boy, a river and an island.  the only thing close was the rooster that crowed when the sun came back out.  It was AWESOME.  We could hear the town of about 10,000 people cheer when totality started.


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#8 APshooter

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 12:15 AM

We had nine in our immediate group (one got sick from the pre-eclipse dinner and didn't make it the next day! :(  ).  By coincidence, a NASA family group from up north came down, about 5-6 in all, all wearing the same eclipse shirt.  I was so busy setting up I couldn't really talk to anyone.  My room mate and 'helper' said about 100 of us were in Buder Park.  Some were down from us in the sun; we kind of took over the one gazebo that had 6 picnic tables.  It made it much more fun to have folks there, I think. 


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#9 Lukey

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 04:07 AM

Casper, WY. Just me and my two sons and a herd of inquisitive cows! Very peaceful.

 

My only concern was rattlesnakes. The ranch owner said that they tend to come out at dusk, so I thought they might start appearing during totality. But they didn't.

 

 

36845597365_82b0bb046e_b.jpg


Edited by Lukey, 14 September 2017 - 04:08 AM.

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#10 REC

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 08:46 AM

Casper, WY. Just me and my two sons and a herd of inquisitive cows! Very peaceful.

 

My only concern was rattlesnakes. The ranch owner said that they tend to come out at dusk, so I thought they might start appearing during totality. But they didn't.

 

 

36845597365_82b0bb046e_b.jpg

Wow, look at all that wide open spaces. I hope you got to observe at night, looks like a great sky! I always wanted to take an RV to someplace like that and spread out some scopes. The only thing I would add, would be a Trout stream running through it:)


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#11 seawolfe

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 07:40 AM

I was in Lime, Oregon; arrived there on Friday afternoon and there was just one other camper there.  By Monday morning the ghost town of Lime was now a small city of cars, campers, large RV's, National Guard and the county sheriff deputy.

 

 

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#12 charotarguy

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 08:29 AM

Always.



#13 vickiestar

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 07:33 PM

Wow, looks like people were just stopping at the side of the highway?

 

I camped in a tent the night before and the day of the eclipse - but the campsite was not in the path of totality. On the evening before, some attendants at the campsite explained they would experiece 99% of totality. I didn't urge them to move into totality knowing they had plenty of opportunity to already plan things out. But having now seen a total eclipse, I would never tell anyone that 99% is good enough - you pretty much miss what it's all about.crazy.gif



#14 jcruse64

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 08:42 PM

I am not a people person and generally prefer to do most things alone.  For the eclipse, I ended up setting up in a clearing by the hotel parking lot in Casper, WY.  Some maybe 40 people set up in the same area.  When it was all over I felt blessed that those people came.  It really added to the experience.  It was really fun letting anyone who wanted to look at the partial phases with my 10" dob.  Everyone was super nice and cheerful.  Many people came up to me after the eclipse thanking me for the views.  I will always cherish the personal interactions I had that day even if most days I would rather hide in a shell. smile.gif

Awesome, Eric!!!!!!! Thanks for posting your experience!

 

We stayed home, being lucky enough to live in the path of totality. 10 or 11 of us in all, all family. It was great! My father-in-law is just shy of legally blind, but he could make out the change in light around him, and binoculars helped him see the phases and totality. To see him impressed was awesome, for us.


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#15 bunyon

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 08:15 AM

I had a nearly perfect experience, I think, in terms of other people.  The only people really close to me were family.  A little further away but in low density, were a collection of enthusiastic and friendly observers.  I was, easily, the most curmudgeonly dude around.  We were all about 200 yards from a few hundred to as many as a thousand people in two softball fields.  I could hear every reaction from my family, even sharing a hug with the wife during totality.  The observers near by contributed some interesting comments.  And we all heard the collective gasps, yells and applause from the many below us on the fields.  

 

I wouldn't have wanted to be down on the field with the thousand people but I'm glad I could hear them.

 

On the other hand, I'm very, very happy I wasn't alone.


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#16 David Illig

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 09:15 PM

My room mate and 'helper' said about 100 of us were in Buder Park....

It would be nice if you told us where Buder Park is.



#17 tlc1976

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 05:42 PM

I'm from northern lower Michigan but I drove down to Chester IL to see it.  I ended up sleeping in my Jeep at a campground nearby.  There were only a few other people there.  Could have seen it from there, but as the beginning approached we all went our separate ways to see it alone.  I wanted to see the moon shadow racing across the land, so I went down a nearby dirt road and parked at an abandoned farm in a cornfield.  I'd rather sit in peace and savor the experience, so the only other person I'd take is my daughter.  She couldn't go this time, but in 2024 she will be going.



#18 Exeligmos

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 06:05 PM

One thing I could do without is someone playing silly pop music with sun or eclipse-related lyrics. The most awesome phenomenon in nature does not need a soundtrack.


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#19 Unknownastron

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 01:18 AM

We deliberately stayed away from large groups.  I wanted the chance to be able to re-locate at a moment's notice without crowds or heavy traffic.  When I found a spot at a crossroads there was a family of 3 there, and we had about 6 other people stopped by.  It was just right.  

Clear skies and clean glass,

Mike




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