It’s finally August 21, 2017, Solar Eclipse Day. I decided to head to Hampton Plantation in McClellanville because it was almost ground zero. The first thing I did when I woke up was check out the weather in McClellanville, Columbia, Pawleys Island and Georgetown. It had 50% chance of scattered showers in Georgetown, Pawleys Island and McClellanville. I also checked weather for Gatlinburg but there was no way I was going to drive 6 hours one way plus they were expecting record number of people. Columbia had cloud cover but given this was Mother Nature, I decided to take a chance and head to McClellanville and left at 7:30am since I knew traffic would get heavier as the day progressed.
Luckily traffic was light and I made it there around 8:30am. I found my spot and prepared for the eclipse. I was amazed on how much room was available for people to watch it but the parking lots filled quickly. It was a beautiful day though it was very hot. There were a few clouds in the sky both luckily no storms. I checked the weather again and it changed from scattered thunderstorms to just cloudy. I spent the morning getting to know the people around me.
The eclipse finally started. We had a few clouds block a little bit of it but the first half of the eclipse went well as you can see in the photo.
Unfortunately as the eclipse progressed, a storm cloud was heading our way from the opposite direction. It was a race to see if totality would happen before the storm cloud moved in. Unfortunately Mother Nature had to be her sadistic self and the storm cloud took over a minute before totality so I missed the best part of the eclipse but it was cool to see how dark it got.
I packed up my car and headed home. What was normally an hour drive turned into four hours because everyone and their brothers, sisters, uncles and parents were on the road at the same time. Traffic was stop and go pretty much from the Georgetown County line to Murrells Inlet. Heavy traffic is so much fun when you drive a manual transmission.
I uploaded the eclipse photos into my computer, picked the best one from each phase and merged them into one photo. What took me the longest besides uploading 260 raw photos into my computer was deciding how I wanted them to go across the screen and spacing them. If I would have been able to shoot the entire eclipse, I would not have used as many phases.
It was an amazing experience watching and shooting the solar eclipse, I just wish I would have been able to see the totality. That was the part I was most looking forward to shooting. Oh well, I guess I will have to head to Texas in 2024.