It is not every day that you get a solar eclipse happening above your head and all you have to do to see it is look up. These type of events attract thousands of visitors from all over the world. They bring all sorts of technical equipment to monitor and study the phenomenon Years of thought and planning go into capturing the special moment.
That's other people though. Not me. No, I didn't even know there was a solar eclipse due to take place in Queensland until about 11pm the night before and I certainly hadn't done any planning. I thought the entire thing was going to pass me by but I just happened to wake up early in the morning and I thought I would take a walk down to the beach to see what all the fuss was about. I took my camera and my wife with me.
We arrived about an hour prior to when the eclipse was due to take place. As the time got nearer and nearer our excitement increased. We had our iPhones with us so we were keeping track of what others were saying on places like Facebook. Our friends were all saying how amazing it was. When we looked up, all we could see was the sun, just as it normally was. We were starting to think that something was wrong with us, when we realised that they were all using strong filters to protect against the glare of the Sun. Of course, how stupid where we to think that we could just look up at the Sun without almost blinding ourselves.
In addition, I was hand holding my camera, no tripod. When you have situations with strong contrasts between light and dark areas it is almost impossible to get the shot you want in one exposure. Cameras just don't have the dynamic range to be able to capture the vast difference in intensity of light. Multiple shots are required with different exposures. To do that properly you really need a tripod. I know all of this of course, but I still didn't bring the equipment I needed with me. I guess it was a bit early in the morning for my brain to start working. So there I was, hand holding my camera taking photos of the sun. It was never going to work.
I am a firm believer that if you stick around long enough, photo opportunities present themselves. I made the most of the situation and managed to get some nice shots of the beach and of some of the people walking along the beach. Sure, you don't get any sense that there is a solar eclipse taking place but you win some and you lose some. After all is said and done, it was a beautiful morning in Hervey Bay and I think that is reflected in these images I captured.