I watched the recent solar eclipse with my mom and step-dad in Olympia, Washington, which was in the path of 95% totality. While I wasn't interested in photographing the actual eclipse, I was inspired to photograph the watching of it and to document my little family’s experience in a way that uniquely captured us and the moment.
First Half: Impromptu viewing with my parents and the neighbors
Upon seeing the across-the-street neighbors pull out lawn chairs for viewing, my mom decided we should join them and said neighbor joyfully dragged out chairs for us and another neighbor who had wandered over. It was all unplanned, a bit haphazard, friendly and giddy, and over in a proverbial flash. Some of these were shot through one of the many crystals in my mom's windows. After reaching it's 95% peak, having seen the height of the show, we all wandered back to our respective homes. For such a grand and rare event, it was also surreally normal. Just a handful of Americans out on a lawn staring at the sky and playing with improvised viewing devices.
Second Half: Mom's lace and glitter
Upon returning to my parents house, while the second half of the eclipse was occurring, my mom and I decided to pull out bits of her lace and linen collection, me spilling some glitter in the process and us randomly playing about with lace scraps. By the time the eclipse was over, we were already moving on to preparing a late breakfast.
While the rarity and wonder of the astronomical event is a memory I’ll not forget, it was really how the morning and viewing unfolded, unplanned and improvised - how it reflects what it’s like to drop into my mom and step-dad’s wonderful world when we're all together - that I’ll remember most fondly.
NOTE: At 95% totality it wasn't as dark as I thought it would be, but it got quite cold. Surprisingly so. At only 5% strength, our sun still gives off quite a bit light, but not much heat. The light was strange though, not like sundown with it's golden, slide-y light, this was just a significant all-over dimming with super deep shadows but still glare-y-highlights (it was a cloudless, sunny day in Olympia). I underexposed most of my photos unintentionally, but many still had blown out highlights. I'm still deciding out how to best process them.