Total Solar Eclipse 2017 – Nashville, TN – Babymoon Edition

Total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 in Nashville, TN

With the April 8, 2024 total solar eclipse less than a week away, excitement around the GTHA and Niagara is growing parabolically.  With good reason. A total solar eclipse is one of the most magical and humbling events the world can witness. I imagine it might only be rivalled by, and I’m spitballing here, something like a volcanic eruption or a massive earthquake. And while both those experiences sound remarkable, they also sound frighteningly dangerous.  So, when a total solar eclipse drops right by your doorstep, there is reason for excitement.

We’ve been looking forward to this eclipse for a long time. Our hotel in Rochester, NY was booked almost a year ago, strategically picked for it’s one of the closes places for maximum totality in the proximity to Toronto.  Part of the reason we are so excited is that we’ve already experienced totality. With this post I thought it would be fun to revisit our first experience witnessing totality back in 2017.  

In the summer of 2017, we strategically designed a 10-day road-trip around a total eclipse. This was a big trip, a multi-state-RV-driving babymoon for the ages. Along the way, we got to visit friends and family, an amazing trip, but the objective was primarily the eclipse, and most importantly, to be directly under totality on August 21, 2017 in Nashville, TN. 

Despite some thin clouds, we had a perfect day and we got to see totality. Magic. I did my best to try and capture the event and put it altogether in a relatively complicated video below. First, a few photos. One of actual totality, then the next one the moment the sun popped out from behind the moon. 

Moments after total eclipse, when the sun is just barely popping out behind the moon. Nashville, TN. August 21, 2017.

As excited as I was to see the eclipse, I did my best to capture it in photo and video and put them all together in the video below. I used three cameras to capture the eclipse in three different ways to give as vivid an idea of what it was like to be there. Truth is, no video can really do it justice. I wish I had had another 10 or 12 cameras and a few dozen drones. 

In the video below, there are three cameras. Camera one is taking a timelapse photo of the eclipse every 10 seconds. Looking back, this was way too long between shots, but the eclipse is over four hours long, but I should have probably done it every 1/10 second for the ten minutes before, during, and ten minutes after. Nevertheless, these photos can be seen on the bottom left of the video and I sync these up with the main video. 

Camera two is taking a video of Kathy and me and the surrounding environment. I had this camera rolling mainly to get a Dancing with Wesley video (although we didn’t know the name of the video yet as Wesley had not been born). This camera is cool because you can see how quickly and dramatically the light drops from 99% eclipse to totality. About halfway through totality, I adjust this camera’s exposure to see us properly for the dancing, but then you can see at the end how bright it gets after total is finished. 

The third camera is the long lens I have in my hand. It’s only a 200mm lens, so the photos are not epic, but it gives you a sense of the ring of fire around the eclipsed sun, and also shows a close up timelapse of the end of totality. Those photos can be seen at the top right of the video. I’ve really shorted the video the make it viewable, it’s just under 3 minutes. 

A couple other cool photos from the day, one a few minutes before totality and another about one minute after totality. Remember, in both photos, that’s the sun you are looking at, blocked almost entirely by the moon. 


I also took a pretty epic selfie that day, as you could see in the video, moments after the end of totality. 

August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse in Nashville, TN.

One more photo from the day, this one is legend in our family (see below).  Of course, being a babymoon and all, Kathy was very pregnant, and my dear Aunt Anita suggested we take this photo. It’s a beauty. We’ve waited six years to show Wesley his first total eclipse outside the womb, and we are really exited. In case you were wondering, my dad has already requested for us to somehow recreate the photo. We will try! Wes is already taller than that bump if you can believe it, but we’ll get something. 

Looking at the eclipse, August 21, 2017, with Wesley in the belly.



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